Rugby: NZ sevens teams frustrated, as COVID-19 border restrictions hamper Commonwealth Games preparation

New Zealand's men's and women's sevens teams are waiting to hear when they'll be able to return to the international circuit.

Despite naming their squads, both sides have been forced to pull out of this month's World Series rounds in Spain, due to New Zealand's COVID-19 border restrictions

The Kiwis have had to watch on, as their rivals rack up crucial game time before July's Commonwealth Games.

The All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens haven't played since the Tokyo Olympics, and maynot play again for another six months.

"It's certainly frustrating and disappointing not to be there," All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw tells Newshub. "We would love to be back out there."

While their Sevens World Series opponents return to competition amid COVID, the two NZ sides are unable to compete, due to delays in reopening of our borders.

"Yeah, it is tough sitting at home and watching all the other teams play," says Sam Dickson. "They're in Dubai and now they're going to Spain, which a lot of us boys haven't been to and we were planning on going."

That lack of match practice is equally as frustrating for the coach.

"Teams have now had six tournaments since the Olympics and we've had none," says Laidlaw.

They hope to rejoin the circuit for the fifth round of the men's series at Vancouver next month, but it's no given.

"How confident am I that things will go ahead? Absolutely no idea," Laidlaw adds.

That's left them searching for competition closer to home and they will take opportunities wherever they can find them.

"We'll get into the community game, and I think there's maybe seven games, if you get to the final, so that'll be a shock to the system for some of the boys, who are used to playing two in a day or three in a day."

Meanwhile, Dickson hopes for a hitout against none other than Olympic champions Fiji.

"I don't know the details of that exactly, but I think it's a Fijian tournament down there," he adds. "Fijians always love playing against Kiwis."

For now, the Kiwis will remain flightless, while the 'Flying Fijians' and co jet their way around the world.