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In a few weeks Feilding High School will make the journey north to compete for the national Condor Rugby Sevens title at the College Rifles Rugby Football Club in Remuera, Auckland.
Competing in the newly revamped Condor Rugby Sevens tournament is not a first for the school. Feilding has competed in the past when it was an invitational tournament.
With a qualification process now in place for 2011, teams from the Manawatu and Horowhenua competed in a local competition for the right to compete in the national tournament.
Feilding won the Manawatu/Horowhenua qualifier by fending off Palmerston North Boys’ High School in the final 36 – 22.
They will now look to the Condor Sevens where they have been drawn against six-time winners Wesley College from Counties Manakau as well as North Harbour up and comer Rosmini College, the remaining side is a young Southland Boys’ High School team.
The finals will be played on the new synthetic rugby fields at the College Rifles Rugby Club in Remuera on the weekend of December 3-4.
Feilding High School rugby spokesman Rick Francis says the team’s training has been intensive.
“Since the victory at the regional tournament the team has been undergoing an intensive training regime under school sevens coach Kerry Whale, which has included trainings and practice games against New Plymouth Boys’ High School and the Manawatu Sevens squad.”
Francis expects the team to be very competitive in the tournament with the aim of finishing at the top of their pool to qualify for the finals.
The school has two players that are currently members of the Manawatu side, Semesi Masirewa and Jamie Perigo, who under the watchful eye of Paul Claridge have been training with both squads following the conclusion of the 15-a-side version of the game.
Sport Manawatu’s Ben Koch says rugby sevens is certainly growing in New Zealand at the grassroots level.
“With the Manawatu Rugby Union offering sevens to both boys and girls it creates a great foundation for growth in the sport locally.”
The tournament is expected to be televised on Sky Sports Rugby Channel following on from the more recent success of the televised 1st XV College Rugby.