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Summer of International sports kicks off in Hamilton

Sevens comes to Hamilton this weekend (FMG stadium image)

Praneeta Mahajan

Hamilton, January 17, 2023

Hamilton has a promising calendar of big international events over the summer, with HSBC NZ Rugby Sevens and FIFA Women’s World Cup Play-Off Tournament set to be the sporting highlights, bringing a reason to rejoice for all fans.

Kicking off this weekend, from Saturday 21 January, is the final Sevens tournament to be held in Hamilton and New Zealand altogether.

Crowds are ready to cheer for their favourite teams this weekend (Photo supplied)

Celebrating sports after a long wait

Sean Murray, The Deputy Chief Executive and General Manager of Venues, Tourism, and Major Events at Hamilton City Council said “After a hiatus of 2 years, I hope the crowd embraces the excitement this event offers our city and sends it off with a bang for its last hurrah.  There is a lot of history with the Sevens, the atmosphere and the world-class entertainment it provides. We are expecting big, adventurous crowds and of course, the fantastic costumes that have become a staple.”

He said “Events lift people’s spirits, so we are excited to host so many this year. The value in the exposure of our city and region they provide is priceless.”

World Rugby Chief Competitions and Performance Officer, Nigel Cass said: “We are excited to kick off what will be a thrilling year for rugby sevens at the HSBC New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton next weekend in front of a packed house of knowledgeable, enthusiastic and passionate rugby fans.

“With Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualification on the line this season for both men’s and women’s competitions, we know the action will be fierce at FMG Stadium Waikato from the opening match on Saturday morning to the final whistle on Sunday evening.”

All Blacks Sevens & Black Ferns Sevens celebrated their success at the 2020 Hamilton Sevens with a collective picture (World Rugby website image)

About Sevens and all the action around Hamilton

Hamilton marks the fourth event in a busy 11-stop Men’s Series, with Samoa and South Africa currently tied atop the standings, closely followed by New Zealand and the USA.

In the Women’s competition, Hamilton marks the third stop on the 2023 Series with trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand tied at the top of the standings after winning titles in Dubai and Cape Town respectively. USA and France are leading the chase in the race for the top four.

Having been on New Zealand’s sporting calendar for more than two decades, this year the tournament will see the addition of a second playing field next to FMG Stadium Waikato to enable the full Men’s and Women’s draws to be played over two action-packed days.

A slice of HSBC NZ Sevens action will be coming to Claudelands, close to Hamilton City Centre, with a fan and family dining experience on the Claudelands Oval. ‘Gourmet in the Oval – Sevens Edition’ will take place this Friday evening, 20 January 2023.

This Free Entry event will see the much-loved ‘Gourmet in the Gardens’ relocate to Claudelands Oval for one evening only, to act as the perfect curtain-raiser for HSBC NZ Sevens. All Sevens teams will be in attendance for a parade of nations.

From 4.30 pm onwards, you can round up your friends and whanau and enjoy some epic eats, live local entertainment, spot prizes, and meet all the men’s and women’s World Rugby Sevens teams competing in the HSBC NZ Sevens ahead of the kickoff.

FIFA Women’s World Cup will be the next event on Hamilton’s sporting Calendar (FIFA website image)

FIFA comes to Hamilton

The FIFA Women’s World Cup™ Play-off Tournament is also taking place from 17 – 23 February 2023 in Hamilton and Auckland. This tournament will see 10 teams from across the world compete for the final three qualifying spots in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

The Football Ferns will also play a series of friendly games throughout the week-long tournament in Hamilton, one of which will be against Argentina.

Hamilton is all set to  welcome teams from Cameroon, Thailand, Portugal, Chinese Taipei and Paraguay, as well as some countries that will be determined from the outcomes of early matches. The winner of the clash between Cameroon and Thailand will go on to play Portugal, filling the final qualifying spot in the tournament, and going on to play in Hamilton against Vietnam.

Tickets for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Play-Off Tournament will go on sale today, Tuesday 17 January 2023.

Visitors are requested to keep in mind that a temporary alcohol ban is in place around FMG Stadium Waikato for the duration of the HSBC NZ Sevens tournament. It is an extension of the usual Hamilton alcohol ban, which prevents people from consuming alcohol on the street or in public parks.

Useful Links:

Sevens Ticket Available at  www.sevens.co.nz

Sevens Men’s Match Schedule: https://www.world.rugby/sevens-series/stage/2109/fixtures

Sevens Women’s Match Schedule: https://www.world.rugby/sevens-series/stage/2119/fixtures

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Playoffs Tickets: here

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink correspondent based in Hamilton.

 

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