Topic: Sevens

Stanaway eyeing Commonwealth Games spot

By Eru Paranihi
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

NZ Sevens player Teddy Stanaway is using this weekend's Hamilton Seven's tournament to push for a spot at the Commonwealth Games. Injury ruled him out from the 2016 Rio Olympics but he’s made every effort to make the starting line-up.

The 28-year-old has set his goal, which is to make a comeback.

“I've got a tendency to overwork. Every time I get on the field, I love the opportunity and I just go hundy [sic],” says Stanaway (Ngāti Tūwharetoa).

Injury ruled the Sevens bolter out of the 2016 Rio Olympics so now he's taking every opportunity to clear his pathway to the Gold Coast.

Coach Clark Laidlaw says, “Commonwealth Games is the pinnacle event. We are an Olympic Sport, and a Commonwealth Games sport, so we are going to try and win.”

But his pathway isn't guaranteed. Thirteen players will be named for this weekend's tournament in Hamilton, but all aren't assured a ticket to the GC.

“Usually you're trying to push your players to go harder, but he wants me to look after my job, just to do my job and do my job well,” says Stanaway.

Laidlaw has instructed the Bay of Plenty steamers centre to pull back after having a tendency of overworking.

Explains Stanaway, “There's a few banged up boys in the team, bangs, and bruises. We're usually low-key on the second week because all the mahi (work) has been done before we get here.”

After their 5th placing at the third round of the Sydney leg, New Zealand will bank on home advantage with a pool consisting of France, Scotland, and Argentina.