Both New Zealand’s men’s and women’s national sevens teams will not participate in next month’s World Sevens Series tournaments in Spain.
The All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens were scheduled to compete in the two Spain legs of the 2021-22 season, they’ve had to withdraw from the tournaments in Malaga and Seville due to New Zealand’s Covid-19 restrictions.
The New Zealand Government has delayed the re-opening of its borders until at least late February, which has proved to be too big a hurdle to overcome for both sides as it meant the teams would not have been able to re-enter the country following the tournaments.
On Friday, the same day the NZ 2022 squads were announced, World Rugby confirmed that the Kiwi sides would not take part in Spain, and had been replaced by Germany (men) and Belgium (women).
Commenting on his team’s withdrawal, men’s coach coach Clark Laidlaw said: “We all thought maybe vaccines and boosters would allow us to be able to travel and be back playing … it’s definitely disappointing and frustrating.”