Rising star Brady Rush following in famous father Eric's footsteps in NZ Sevens squad

Rising Sevens star Brady Rush has just secured a contract to join the All Blacks Sevens this year, following in his famous father’s footsteps.

Eric Rush played for the All Blacks Sevens for 14 years, travelling the world with the side. The younger Rush will now have a chance to prove top flight Sevens really is in his blood.

The Northland wing is one of three new signings for the All Blacks and Black Ferns Sevens, alongside North Harbour’s Moses Leo and Waikato’s Manaia Nuku, six months out from the Tokyo Olympics.

All three players stood out at Decembers Red Bull Ignight7, with Rush named tournament MVP, Leo claimed the Players’ Player of the Tournament while Nuku was also nominated for the Players’ Player award.

All Blacks Sevens Coach Clark Laidlaw said Rush and Leo have the potential to be sevens specialists.

“Brady comes from good pedigree of course; he is relaxed off the field but has a competitive edge on the field,” he said.

“Moses has real resilience; he has gone through some tough years with injuries, but he is a dynamic attacking player. They are both great men and have fit in straight away.”

Rush, made his Mitre 10 Cup debut for Northland in 2020 against Otago, while Moses Leo was involved in the North Harbour wider squad last season.

They replace Jacob Ratumaituvuki-Kneepkens who has signed with the Blues and Joe Ravouvou who took a contract in France last year.

For the Black Ferns Squad, Hamilton Girls’ High School student Manaia Nuku joins school alumni Shiray Kaka, Tenika Willison, Terina Te Tamaki and Jazmin Hotham in the side.

Nuku had an impressive 2020, making her Farah Palmer Cup debut for Waikato and captained the New Zealand Condor Schools sevens team at the World School Sevens in December.

Black Ferns Sevens Coaches Allan Bunting and Cory Sweeney bring Nuku into an established squad, with 20 of 21 players having international experience.

“Manaia is a smart young player with exciting talent. She has great instinct and a strong skill set, so we are really looking forward to seeing her grow in our team,” said Sweeney.

She replaces Kayla Ahki in the squad, who returned to France to be with her family last year.

Both teams head into training in preparation for their first competitions of the year, held in Tauranga in February.

The All Blacks Sevens will play a series of matches against Tonga and the Black Ferns Sevens will play internal matches.

Plans are underway for an Oceania tournament before the World Series events currently scheduled for London and Paris in May and June, before the Tokyo Olympics scheduled for July.


All Blacks Sevens squad

Kurt Baker Hawke's Bay

Dylan Collier Waikato

Scott Curry Bay of Plenty

Sam Dickson Bay of Plenty

Trael Joass Bay of Plenty

Andrew Knewstubb Canterbury

Vilimoni Koroi Otago

Moses Leo North Harbour

Ngarohi McGarvey-Black North Harbour

Tim Mikkelson Waikato

Sione Molia Counties Manukau

Tone Ng Shiu Auckland

Amanaki Nicole Southland

Akuila Rokolisoa Counties Manukau

Brady Rush Northland

Ollie Sapsford Hawke's Bay

Kitiona Vai Auckland

William Warbrick Bay of Plenty

Regan Ware Bay of Plenty

Joe Webber Bay of Plenty

Black Ferns Sevens squad

Shakira Baker Waikato

Michaela Blyde Bay of Plenty

Kelly Brazier Bay of Plenty

Gayle Broughton Taranaki

Dhys Faleafaga Wellington

Theresa Fitzpatrick Auckland

Stacey Fluhler Waikato

Sarah Hirini Manawatu

Jazmin Hotham Waikato

Shiray Kaka Waikato

Tyla Nathan-Wong Northland

Manaia Nuku Waikato

Mahina Paul Bay of Plenty

Risaleeana Pouri-Lane Bay of Plenty

Cheyelle Robins-Reti Waikato

Alena Saili Bay of Plenty

Terina Te Tamaki Waikato

Ruby Tui Counties Manukau

Niall Williams Auckland

Tenika Willison Waikato

Portia Woodman Northland