The Black Ferns Sevens are the top female sevens team in the world. They also have the world's top three female sevens players.

What they don't have, in the opinion of World Rugby's 2018 and 2017 Women's Sevens Player of the Year Michaela Blyde, is respect and equality when it comes to television coverage.

The Black Ferns Sevens start their second tournament of the HSBC Sevens Series in Dubai tonight (NZT), with day one continuing into tomorrow morning (NZT).

They won their first tournament of the series in Glendale, Colorado in October, and entered the Dubai competition in the No 1 spot on the standings.


The American leg of the women's tournament was not televised in full in New Zealand and neither will this week's Dubai leg.

The first day of the two-day tournament will be broadcast on the World Rugby Sevens Facebook page and the finals will be broadcast on Sky Sport 1.

Blyde says she and her teammates love performing for their families and their country, but when their games are not televised as she believes they deserved to be, it can be hard for people in New Zealand to support them.

"We definitely do encourage a lot of people to support us, obviously it's so much more difficult when we never play back at home in New Zealand, and not very often we are actually on TV, unlike the men who are always on TV, which is totally unfair," Blyde said.

"We really like, try to push our family and friends to really make an effort to watch us, totally understand if it's a little bit difficult but we like performing for our families and we enjoy performing for our country, so we really want to get all the support that we can and hopefully more people can watch us live."

She said, in her view, the Black Ferns Sevens team deserved full television coverage of their matches and the only way she believed to push for it was to keep proving that women's rugby had so much to offer.

"I guess the more we perform the more we show that we are the best in the world and the more that we want to express our feelings on social media to get people to understand that we really do want our family and friends to watch back home, hopefully we can get more respect and get that TV coverage."

"I think for us it's to keep performing, keep doing what we're doing and keep showing, not just our home but the world, that women's rugby is extremely entertaining and so we need so much more support when it comes to that TV coverage."


She said some countries were blocked by official website links, which meant some people struggled to gain access to watch and support them in action. She believed that if they were a New Zealand men's team they would be televised.

"... to always have them [the men's sevens players] on TV but not us, I think is extremely rude."

In a statement, Sky TV confirmed it would take a 2.5 hour broadcast package of the Dubai Women's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series from 1.05am tomorrow on Sky Sport 1 (Sky channel 051).

This broadcast package would include 30 minutes of highlights, followed by live coverage of the final four matches on day two of the women's tournament. These matches include the fifth place playoff, the challenge trophy, the bronze medal match, and the final.

"Outside of this 2.5 hour broadcast package on day two, the World Rugby stream will be available for all in New Zealand via World Rugby channels to watch online. The final four matches will not be available to stream online in New Zealand and will be exclusive on Sky Sport," the statement said.

"SKY Sport is taking everything that is being made available by World Rugby on the world broadcast feed.


"The final four matches will be played in the main stadium, making the television broadcast feed possible."

Sky's World Rugby Sevens World Series coverage:


Day 1: November 30, 5pm on Sky Sport 1

Day 2; December 1, 6.20pm on Sky Sport Pop-up 2

Dubai Women's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series: December 1, from 1.05am on Sky Sport 1

Cape Town
Day 1: December 8, 8pm on Sky Sport Pop-up 1
Day 2 December 9, 8.45pm on Sky Sport Pop-up 2