“We had 40 teams sign up within the first 24 hours of nominations opening, and the last four slots filled up shortly after,” says Tournament Director, Mark Bryant.
“Apart from the top clubs competing, including four sides from the ACT, we are looking forward to the First Nations team [Rugby Australia development squad, coached by Jarred Hodges] playing for the first time.
“The Australian Sevens side will be playing in LA on the same day, but we’ve been told that team members who are coming back from injury will be playing for their clubs in Kiama.”
Mark says there are a number of reasons for the Kiama Seven’s popularity.
“Apart from us having the best positioned footy field in the world, people like the fact that it is one day, and is run very professionally to a strict timetable.
“Then there is the $38,000 in total prize money, which is bigger than that offered by the Sydney Sevens.
“It is also the last Sevens tournament before the Shute Shield, so it is a great bonding event for the clubs.”
This year will be the first time that the competition will be streamed live through Rugby Australia’s website.
“Prior to this we’ve been streaming it on our facebook page and even then getting 80,000 hits. This is going to take it to a much bigger audience,” says Mark.
Talent spotters from Rugby Australia will be there on the day to confirm their choices.
Details: Saturday 29 February, Kiama Showground, from 8.15am. $10 entry.