Otago outside back Matt Faddes is on the sevens payroll.
Faddes (21) has been awarded an interim sevens contract with
the New Zealand Rugby Union, and returned earlier this month
from a tournament in Fiji.
Faddes is one of four players who have been signed by the
union to be on standby for the national sevens squad. Those
players will back up the 16 fulltime players contracted to
play for the national team in the IRB world series this year.
He is joined by Rocky Khan (Auckland), Trinity Spooner-Neera
(Hawkes Bay) and David Raikuna (North Harbour) in the interim
Raikuna and Khan have been picked to play for the national
side for this weekend's Wellington sevens.
Faddes said the interim players trained with the national
squad before tournaments, and he had spent last weekend in
He had travelled to Fiji for a tournament with an emerging
New Zealand squad. The side made it to the semifinals before
losing to Fiji, which went on to win the tournament. It was
the best placing by a non-Fijian side in the tournament.
Faddes said it was unbelievably hot and conditions were
brutal, but it had been an enjoyable experience and his game
National coach Gordon Tietjens converted Faddes into a
halfback at the tournament, and he was a playmaker for the
Faddes said it was different than his usual role, and he did
not get as much space, but it was one he enjoyed.
A student at the University of Otago, the Balclutha product
said there were big opportunities in sevens in the coming
The World Cup was in Moscow later this year, the Commonwealth
Games was a year away and getting to the Olympics in Rio de
Janeiro was a big focus for all players.
He was getting paid for his sevens commitments, which was
always handy for a student, and had a training programme to
follow. He would continue to play for University this season.