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Hamilton to host rugby sevens

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/05/2017

Wellington has lost the New Zealand leg of the rugby sevens world series, with Hamilton confirmed as host for the next two years.

Once one of the most popular events in Kiwi sport, poor crowds in recent years have ended the event's 18-year history in Wellington.

About 10,000 were on hand for both days over the weekend for this year's edition in February but in its heyday, the 34,000-capacity venue sold out in minutes.

New Zealand Rugby's chief strategy and operations officer, Nigel Cass, says it's time to start a new chapter for the tournament in New Zealand.

"We delivered 18 years of good times and great tournaments in the capital," he said.

"I have nothing but praise for all those who contributed to the Wellington Sevens for almost two decades."

Cass said Hamilton offered a world-class stadium built for rugby fans, a central location for travelling fans and a rugby-mad host community.

"We're looking forward to introducing international sevens to the local community and for visiting fans to experience the heart of rugby in New Zealand."

He said hosting a New Zealand leg of the world sevens series was important for NZR, particularly given the inclusion of sevens at the Olympics.

Next year's event will be held on February 3-4.

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