The Hamilton sevens had only been underway a matter of hours when World Rugby boss Brett Gosper gave the inaugural event an early seal of approval, hinting it could featuring for years to come.

Given the timing of Gosper's endorsement, straight after New Zealand's opening match, it must be kept in context. After this event, New Zealand has one more year on its hosting rights contract.

Much can change in that time. It only takes one incident or poor crowd turnout to alter attitudes.

Read more: NZ sevens blow away France in opening match

Just ask Wellington, once the hottest ticket in town, how quickly perceptions can change.


With 18 countries bidding for 10 sevens tournaments there are no guarantees Hamilton will be a permanent fixture on the World Series calendar just yet.

But after selling 24,000 tickets to each of the two days, Hamilton certainly made an early impression on Gosper. Crowd attendance and behaviour; player feedback, television and sponsors viewership are other key boxes to tick, most of which won't be known until reviews are completed.

"The field is amazing. It's a great size for sevens and the organisers seem to have gone out of their way to make the players happy; they're all reporting back that it's a brilliant tournament," Gosper said.

"We didn't have time to worry they sold the tickets so quickly – they went almost on the first day. Obviously something needed refreshing, changing, after the Wellington sevens. This seems to be a good alternative on first sight.

"This tournament has definitely learnt from any negative activity that might have been in Wellington."

The tender process is underway to determine which countries will be awarded four-year hosting rights from 2020.

"New Zealand will be one of the countries applying for that. I think they've got a very strong chance given what we've seen here and what we'll see over the next couple of days. They'll have a very strong bid I'm sure."

After their Olympic gold medal triumph, Pacific neighbours Fiji is one destination New Zealand will go head-to-head with.


"They are one of the countries tendering. It would be wonderful if that could work in some way. We've always had a positive view of Fiji tendering. The world loves to see Fiji play so I'm sure it'd like to see them host but it's down to the competition."

Fans and supporters at the Hamilton Sevens. Photo / Photosport
Fans and supporters at the Hamilton Sevens. Photo / Photosport

Last week Sydney hosted the first integrated women's and men's tournament over three days, and there is a major push for others to now follow.

As it stands, the men have 10 tournaments; women five. Next year New Zealand Rugby will look to run a four-team women's invitational tournament alongside the men, with the aim of expanding that further should Hamilton retain the hosting rights.

"We'd like to see more women's tournaments and we'd like to see more women's tournaments coupled with the men's. I certainly think as part of their tender the women will be part of Hamilton in the future. Perhaps not next year, but there might be an intermediate step where they involve some women's teams.

"They've told us to integrate the women in their tender for the next cycle so that's all positive."

While the tournament in Sydney was a success, the Australian Rugby Union lost over $700,000 and Gosper admitted World Rugby needed to lessen the burden to increase the women's involvement.

"We'll reward hosts that integrate the men and the women. We won't pay for all of it but we'll reward them financially for doing that.

"There's a contribution World Rugby makes currently to the host cities. We would increase that – we haven't decided by how much – so it would be in their interests.

"We're in a growth and investment phase in women's rugby so it's right we add extra dollars from the centre, as it's right they add extra dollars locally to make that happen."

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