Sevens: New generation hope to make their mark

In the 90s, Walter Little, Frank Bunce and Eric Rush terrorised back-lines for North Harbour in the NPC.

They all played for New Zealand as well, but now the next generation of their families is trialling to do the same this year.

Rob Rush (Eric's son), James Little (Walter's nephew) and Jordan Bunce (Frank's son) are among the 28 players vying for 12 New Zealand Sevens development squad spots in 2019.

"Any chance to put on the black jersey is a privilege and an honour, and I think we'd all appreciate it if we got to play together and a pretty proud moment for our families," Jordan told Newshub.

If you saw them, it's not hard to spot the resemblance.

"I wish I didn't, because he's pretty ugly." Rush quipped. "Na, they always say I look like dad - it's the nose."

Their fathers and uncles were part of the most successful era in North Harbour rugby history, playing in a national provincial championship final. They would all be a part of the 1995 World Cup squad for the All Blacks.

But most of that happened before Rob (18), Jordan (24) and James' (21) time, so their memories are much the same as ours.

"I remember going to my nan's place and watching my uncle on TV," Little told Newshub.

Now part of the New Zealand sevens development program, the trio aren't far off making their own memories in the black jersey.

And if they did it together, it might even prompt a reunion from the older generation.

"Probably not for us, but for catching up with their mates, probably" Bunce said. "We're just a bonus they can watch."

Seeing the names Bunce, Little and Rush coming through the New Zealand Sevens programme is exciting, says talent development manager Chad Tuoro, but they are wary of the added burden that may come with it.

"Our aim is to not put too much pressure on them, because I know they'll have it on themselves and everyone else." Tuoro told Newshub.

But Bunce recognises that pressure and say they embrace it.

"They're a different era to us. they obviously play a lot different than what we do, so we get a chance to pave our own way."

The boys are now ready to add a new chapter in the Little, Bunce and Rush playbook.