The TECT National Sevens return to the Tauranga Domain on December 14-15 and the competition looks set to be hotter than ever.
Northern, Central and Southern regional qualifiers were held across the country at the weekend to find the 16 men's and 12 women's teams who will battle it out at the tournament.
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In the men's division, Canterbury, Wellington and Waikato topped their respective qualifying events, with defending champions Tasman finishing second in their Southern Region tournament.
South Canterbury, Wairarapa Bush and Thames Valley will join 13 Mitre 10 Cup unions to round out the 2019 men's competitors. Thames Valley beat Northland 17-10 to claim the sixth qualifying position at the Northern qualifiers.
Women's defending champions Manawatū led the charge in the Central Region qualifier, with Farah Palmer Cup Premiership champions Canterbury winning the Southern event and Waikato topping the Northern tournament.
Host union Bay of Plenty saw both its men's and women's teams finish third at their respective Northern Region qualifiers to book their spots at their home tournament.
Bay of Plenty Rugby Union chief executive Mike Rogers said hosting the national tournament every year was exciting for organisers and fans alike.
"Obviously sevens has a huge history in the Bay and we've worked hard to have that event here. I know our staff do a lot of work in preparation for it and we really want it to be an event the community is involved in and proud of."
Rogers hoped for a change in fortunes for the Bay of Plenty men and women but said the competition only got more fierce each year.
"Obviously, we haven't won it yet so hopefully this is the year. On the women's side, Waikato are always strong, historically they've always been right up there, then if you look at Manawatū, they've won it for the last few years as well.
"I think what I've noticed over the last few years is the depth and quality of teams right throughout New Zealand has really improved. It's hard to pick one or two teams."
He said the pathways now available for both men and women in sevens had seen many athletes cross over from other sports, which only improved the spectacle at the national tournament further.
"I think more and more, athletes are motivated by the Olympic Games and contracts so hopefully we'll spot a few more of those talented young players and they can get in that environment as well.
"It really is entertaining to get along and watch. If you go to a game of 15s it's obviously just the two teams but at the sevens it really is a fast-paced, entertainment-packed weekend. You get to see so many different teams, so many different players and so it is a lot of fun and a really relaxed atmosphere."
2019 TECT National Sevens Men's Qualifiers
Waikato, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Counties Manukau, North Harbour, Thames Valley.
Wellington, Taranaki, Hawke's Bay, Manawatū, Wairarapa Bush.
Canterbury, Tasman, Otago, Southland, South Canterbury.
2019 TECT National Sevens Women's Qualifiers
Waikato, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Counties Manukau, North Harbour.
Manawatu, Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Taranaki.
Canterbury, Tasman, Otago.