November 23 - 1996 NZ Sevens kick off in Palmerston North

New Zealand Sevens tournaments had been held since 1975, with Marlborough (1975,1976) and Manawatu (1977-79) the first winners. Changes in dates and format occurred over the years, and in 1996, after a tournament in March, a November date for future events was decided upon. The first November Sevens was held at the Palmerston North Showgrounds, starting on November 23.


For the first seven years until 1981 tournaments were held in early October with the winner invited to the Hong Kong Sevens the following March. Since 1982 tournaments have been held in early March. In 1983 regional play-offs were introduced in four centres one week before the national finals in Feilding, but in 1987 the tournament was rearranged with all participating unions competing at the one venue over two days. All 27 provincial unions have participated annually since 1989.”

From ”1996 Rugby Almanack” p. 260.

Tournament Results, November 1996:

Shield Final: Wanganui 22 Horowhenua 17.

Bowl: Wairarapa Bush 38 King Country 19.

Plate: Wellington 53 Hawkes Bay 17

Cup: Waikato 31 Bay of Plenty 26.

At the March 1996 tournament the winners had been:

Shield: Poverty Bay

Bowl: Wairarapa Bush

Plate: Counties Manukau

Cup: Waikato.

Waikato - Cup winners