Hands up if you were confused by Havelock North's spot in the draw for this weekend's National Club Sevens in Auckland.

You're not alone and it's understandable considering the villagers finished second to Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports at last year's Hawke's Bay Sevens in Waipukurau.

However the villagers were granted special entry to the 16-team Wavell Wakefield Middlesex County Cup nationals at Gribblehirst Park courtesy of the Pirate club's unavailability.

"We might be a special entry but we're not going up there to make up the numbers ... we're going to give it a good crack," Unison Havelock North captain Adam Blake said before his team's final training session on Thursday.


"We've been wanting to go to this tournament for a couple of years to take on the best teams in the country. We want to get an understanding of where we are at. It's an opportunity to put our best foot forward and set our base for years to come."

Like the Napier Old Boys Marist club, which will also be at the tournament, the villagers will also be missing key players.

Former Magpies halfback Isaac Paewai will be attending the wedding of former All Blacks Sevens star Gillies Kaka and Hawke's Bay Sevens captain Teihana Brown has departed to the United States for a playing stint.

However Blake, 25, who made his debut for the team as an 18-year-old and is in his second year of captaining Havelock North, pointed out there is still plenty of ammunition on their roster.

Former All Blacks Sevens rep Trinity Spooner-Neera has returned to the club after several seasons playing in Taranaki and the Paewai twins, Jesse and Kalin, are experienced sevens exponents.

Sweeper-halfback Blake is also excited about the potential Hastings' Boys High School product Jacob Stephenson and Lindisfarne College product Jayden Falcon, a younger brother of Chiefs and Magpies pivot Tiaan Falcon, boast.

"Jacob is a versatile utility while Jayden is a talented ball-playing forward. It's funny ... I used to be a ball boy for our club's premier team when Jearrad "Lightning" Stephenson was playing and now I'm playing with his son," Blake said.

An EIT Sport and Recreation course lecturer, Blake said all of his players know if they play well this weekend they will secure spots in the squad for the following weekend's Hawke's Bay Sevens in Waipukurau.

Havelock North are in Pool A with host club Eden, Fraser Tech of Waikato and Marist Albion.

The top two teams from each of the four pools will qualify for Sunday's quarter-finals.

Napier Old Boys Marist are in Pool C with Pakuranga, Bay of Plenty's Greerton Marist and Northland's Old Boys Marist.

Pool B teams are Hamilton Marist, Tauranga Sports, Patumahoe of Counties-Manukau and North Harbour's East Coast Bays while Wellington's Upper Hutt Rams, Bay of Plenty's Rangataua, North Harbour's Northcote and Auckland's University make up Pool D.

"I consider it an absolute privilege to have the captain's band for this team, particularly when you take into account those who have had in the past ... Gillies Kaka, Ihaia West, Adam Bradey and Murdoch [current coach] Paewai to name a few," Blake said.

A former two-season Hawke's Bay under-20s rep including the Hurricanes title-winning 2012 team and a one-season Hawke's Bay under-18 rep, Blake, and Ethan Bradey are expected to feature in a tight battle for the Villagers No 10 jersey when the Nash Cup 15-a-side competition begins next month in the absence of Magpies pivot Dan Snee who will be on a World Cup qualifying expedition with Spain.

But Blake refused to look that far ahead.

"We'll get the sevens season out of the way first before we focus on 15s."

Having spent a couple of seasons in Scotland from 2014-16, Blake, is keen for another overseas stint and he said that will likely happen before the end of the year.

Havelock North team:Liam Murphy, Jayden Falcon, Jonty Strong, Phil McRoberts, Adam Blake (captain), Caleb Harmer, Jesse Paewai, Mika Naitokani, Trinity Spooner-Neera, Taylor Greville, Jacob Stephenson, Kalin Paewai.