Tokyo Olympics: NZ Sevens sides to play fixtures against Australia as Olympics warm-up

With just over three months until the Tokyo Olympics, the New Zealand men's and women's sevens teams are desperate for game time. 

But that's about to change, as Newshub can reveal both New Zealand Sevens sides will play multiple fixtures against Australia as an Olympic warm-up. 

The New Zealand and Australian Sevens sides to play each other on two different occasions.

Where the matches are played is still to be decided, but they're aiming to play one next month and the next in June. 

"Around being able to go over to Australia, or Australia to come here and arrange some fixtures against some quality opposition again," All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw tells Newshub.

"They might come here and then go back, or us go to them and come back.

"Hopefully through May and June we are going to get opportunities to play.

"Australia's a good team. They're preparing well - or they will be - for the Olympics."

Those fixtures come in addition to an invitational tournament, played this weekend in Wellington.

"We've been smashing ourselves for a year and a bit," says Black Ferns Sevens star Ruby Tui.

And they've had to. Because of COVID 19 they've been starved of any fixtures.

Both men's and women's sides will take part in the invitational tournament, alongside Samoan and Tongan sides, as well as Moana Pasifika.

"We're very lucky," says Michaela Blyde.

"To get some quality opposition as well is really beneficial heading into our Olympic preparation."

"These times have hit us all really hard, so to go out there and play the first ever Moana Pasifika team, it's pretty special," adds Tui.

With an Olympics campaign to prepare for in July, facing world class opposition is vital. 

Positive signs for two teams starved of international fixtures in the past year.