The All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens release new jerseys for RWC in San Francisco

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The new All Blacks and Black Ferns Sevens jerseys

Just two weeks out from the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco, the All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens have unveiled the new jerseys for tournament.

The reigning World Champions in both men’s and women’s Sevens, as well as men’s and women’s Fifteens, both teams also claimed the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games earlier this year.

This is the first time Black Ferns Sevens jerseys have been made available for purchase, a nod to the international success of the team and their growing fan base.

The Dark Energy jersey designs see the latest technology aligned with a sleek new design, featuring the team crests and “energised ferns” throughout.

New Zealand Rugby Head of Sponsorship Megan Compain said having both jerseys available for sale was great for fans of Sevens.

“It’s been a big year for both our sevens teams, no one will forget their heroics at the Commonwealth Games, bringing home double gold after exceptional campaigns.

“It is fantastic to see the success of the Black Ferns Sevens being recognised with their jerseys been made available for public sale for the first time and we expect they will be a popular item.

“We know the teams are working hard as they prepare to defend their World Cup crowns, so having the public able to show their support with these new jerseys is great,” said Compain.

Quentin Bleakley, adidas New Zealand Country Manager is excited to see the new jerseys in action this month.

“We’ve made many technical and visual changes to the new Sevens range for both teams which will benefit each athlete and their ability to deliver what they need to on the field. From lightweight fabric through to minimal seams and refined bands, each design change is aimed to help players preform to their best on what is arguably the biggest stage that they will face in their athletic career,” said Bleakley.

Jerseys are available for purchase online at allblackshop.com and selected retail outlets.

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Blitzboks enter final phase of Rugby World Cup Sevens preparations

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Neil Powell - coach of the Blitzbokke

The Springbok Sevens squad assembled in Mossel Bay on Sunday for a final training camp before departure to San Francisco, where the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament will be played at AT&T Park from 20-22 July.

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell will name his final 12-man squad on Wednesday and will use the next four days in the Southern Cape to fine-tune preparations for their final event of the 2017/18 season.

The Blitzboks last month won the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series crown for a second consecutive season and also placed fourth at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April, with the Melrose Cup – the only major silverware yet to be owned by South Africa – the final hurdle in a bumper season.

“We are now fully focussed on what we want to achieve in San Francisco and all our planning is geared towards being ready to that first match,” said Powell.

“The format of the Rugby World Cup Sevens is such that no team can afford even the slightest slip up, and we need to ensure our timing is right.”

South Africa will face the winner of Ireland and Chile in their first match of the event, on Saturday, 21 July (06h15 SA time).

“We will be fine-tuning all aspects of our play this week,” said Powell.

“The game plan is well drilled in as we have just played finished the World Series, but the application and commitment comes with every match we play. “

The Blitzboks played a warm-up match against the Golden Lions in Johannesburg last week and Powell was pleased with the outcome: “The first highlight was that all players came through that without any new injury concerns, while guys such as Rosko Specman and Selvyn Davids showed good progress in their return to play phase of recovery.”

Powell confirmed that Chris Dry and Stedman Gans will not form part of the final week as they will not be fit to play next weekend. The team will train at Van Riebeeck Sports Stadium in Mossel Bay on Monday and Tuesday.

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UAE to make rugby debut at 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia in August

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Apollo Perelini is set to lead the UAE into their first Asian Games.

The UAE will make their rugby sevens bow at the Asian Games later this year, taking place in Indonesia, where the official draw for the tournament took place on Thursday.

Eleven men’s and eight women’s sides will be involved at the 2018 Asian Games, taking place from August 18-September 2.

The sevens tournament will be held over three days from August 30-September 1 at the Wibawa Mukti Stadium, Bekasi.

The draw was conducted by Asia Rugby general manager for Ross Mitchell, in Jakarta.

The UAE will feature in a three-team Pool C alongside Sri Lanka and South Korea.

Elsewhere in the men’s draw, Hong Kong head Pool A alongside China, Thailand and Pakistan. Following their recent qualification to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Japan top Pool B and will face Chinese Taipei, Indonesia and Malaysia.

There are just two pools in the women’s competition, and China, also recent qualifiers for the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, top Pool A. They are joined by Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea.

Japan, who were relegated from the women’s series, are set to play Kazakhstan, Thailand and Indonesia.

Mitchell said: “We are all excited about the upcoming competition in Indonesia.

“It was a very well run draw and the host nation took a collective gasp when both the men and women’s teams were drawn.

“It is all shaping up to be a great tournament, and a competitive one that will further enhance the growth of rugby in Asia.”

The 2018 Asian Games will be held in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang, after Vietnam capital Hanoi, the original host, withdrew due to financial constraints.

It is the first time the Asian Games are being co-hosted in two cities, with Jakarta hosting for the first time since 1962.

Events will be held in and around the two cities, including venues in Bandung and the province of West Java.

Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta will host the opening and closing ceremonies.

Rugby union and sevens has featured at the Asian Games since 1998, with South Korea winning the first two tournaments in both disciplines. Sevens has been played exclusively since 2006, with Japan coming in as the three-time defending champions.

In Incheon four years ago they beat Hong Kong 24-12.

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