One of the newest sports to be showcased on Mount Main Beach in recent summers is spectacular beach rugby.

It returns tomorrow for the third successive year the fast growing sport has been played at the Mount.

Sam Hurley from New Zealand Beach Rugby committee says they have plans for expanding competitions around New Zealand.

"We have run two events in 2014 and 2015 with our third event coming up [tomorrow]. We are looking to the future, with the aim of running a North Island and South Island competition then a final at the Mount next summer," Hurley said.

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5 a side Beach Rugby at Mount Maunganui main beach last year. Arataki's Billy Russell scores. Photo/file
5 a side Beach Rugby at Mount Maunganui main beach last year. Arataki's Billy Russell scores. Photo/file

"Beyond that we are looking at five competitions around New Zealand, with a final held at the Mount and the winning team being sent to the Italian comp to represent New Zealand."

Beach rugby is a full contact sport played on a pitch roughly 30m long, with five players per side plus seven rolling subs per team. Matches are played in five-minute halves with a try scored on average every 30 seconds.

There are no scrums, lineouts or kicking, and with soft sand to run on the players are pushed to their aerobic limits.

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Hurley said beach rugby was faster than touch and as physical as sevens so the crowd could expect some big hits among the fancy footwork.

"There will be two female teams and some lunchtime entertainment put on too. Tauranga Sports, winners of the previous two competitions, will be defending their title against teams from Papamoa, Mount, Hawke's Bay, Waikato and Auckland."

Hurley and his New Zealand Beach Rugby committee are involved with a competition in Italy that is part of the European circuit, attracting teams from all over the world.

Crowds of up to 5000 come to watch the Italian tournament, which is televised and has major sponsorship behind it.

Tracy Anderson (Ngongotaha) caught by Ange Withers (Arataki) at last year's beach rugby at Mount main beach. Photo/file
Tracy Anderson (Ngongotaha) caught by Ange Withers (Arataki) at last year's beach rugby at Mount main beach. Photo/file

"In the space of roughly 10 years it has gone from strength to strength and is popular in a lot of non-traditional rugby playing countries like Germany and Belgium," Hurley said.

"As a group we came together early 2014 and asked ourselves why is this not happening in New Zealand?"

The action at Mount Main Beach gets under way tomorrow at 10am with finals expected around 4pm.