Topic: Sevens

Sevens tradition holds fast with jersey blessing in Wellington

By Ripeka Timutimu
  • Wellington

He's the newbie in the team, but it seems Sonny Bill Williams is the expert on one very important subject.

Gillies Kākā says, "All the boys are stepping their game up.  The introduction of the Super boys has been good and they bring their professionalism.  Everyone's getting tips from Sonny Bill, you know he's the rehab king."

Kākā led his team onto Pipitea Marae today, where the tradition of blessing the jerseys for the Wellington tournament was carried out.

Kaumātua Don Rangi says, "This is appropriate because we are the indigenous people of Aotearoa." 

It was a light training run this morning, but coach Gordon Tietjens says there's still a bit of work to be done by some of the players.

He says, "I've got some big boys in here that really have to make that transition back to Sevens they've all been involved except for Sonny, and they know what it takes to win tournaments."

With players like siblings Akira and Rieko Ioane in the mix, as well as Ardie Savea and Ben Lam, Tietjens was tight-lipped on who was his starting line-up.

Tietjens says, "If you've got a strong bench, you can't actually name your line-up right now, it's a good position to be in, and that's where I am right now."

Even though the jerseys were blessed this morning, kaumātua Don Rangi says his incantation might not stretch to the playing field,  "The blessing of the jerseys lies within each individual however each player has their own beliefs and thoughts about how to carry it onto the field."

The Wellington Sevens competition kicks tomorrow, and wraps up on Sunday.