All Black Rush back in frame for HK Sevens
NEW Zealand sevens star Eric Rush has declared himself fit for the Hongkong Sevens.
Rush suffered a hamstring injury during last month's Singapore Sevens and was doubtful for this weekend's New Zealand National Sevens, which also act as trials.
But the 1991 Hongkong Sevens player of the tournament said he had completely recovered and would represent his province, North Harbour, at the trials.
''I've recovered from the injury and should be all right for Hongkong and the World Cup,'' said Rush.
''Hongkong is a special event and I'm looking forward to playing there if I'm picked. Most of the top sevens players have made themselves available for Hongkong.'' New Zealand selectors and coach Peter Thorburn will use the National Sevens in Palmerston North as the basis for the squad to contest the March 27-28 Hongkong Sevens and the April 16-18 World Cup Sevens in Scotland.
The winner will be New Zealand's representative at the Canberra Sevens on March 13.
The All Blacks, seeded second, take on South Korea and Kwang-Hua Taipei in Pool H of the Hongkong Sevens, sponsored by Cathay Pacific and HongkongBank.
At the World Cup, they take on France, Ireland, South Korea, American Eagles and the Netherlands in Pool B.
Rush was more than happy with the New Zealand Rugby Union's decision to give priority to the national squad over the Super 10s competition, a competition featuring the leading provincial teams from the Southern Hemisphere.
''We have been told that anything to do with the national team takes preference, and I'm quite happy with that.
''Even so, there is a lot of interest in the Super 10s competition and sevens is taking pretty much a back seat.'' The Super 10s event has had a bigger effect on the Australian sevens side with centre Tim Horan, captain at Hongkong last year, preferring to play for his state side Queensland.
Rush, part of New Zealand's successful 1989 side, said that Fiji will once again be the team to beat.
But the All Blacks will not dwell too much on how to tackle the Fijians.
''Of course, Fiji will be the favourites. But if we spend too much time worrying about the Fijians, some other team could come up and give us a shock.''