September 22, 2023

Kurt Baker hopes the All Blacks Sevens can perform admirably in Cape Town Rugby World Cup Sevens

Rugby World Cup kurt baker

Kurt Baker claims that New Zealand is well aware of the expectations placed on them to win a third consecutive Rugby World Cup Sevens championship after their trip to Cape Town.

It should come as no surprise that New Zealand is one of the teams considered to have the best chance of winning the Melrose Cup on Sunday. They are the most successful team in the history of the Rugby World Cup Sevens and they won the most recent tournament on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Kurt Baker, who was a member of the New Zealand squad that won the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2001, 2013, and 2018

He confident that his team has what it takes to live up to the high expectations placed on them and win the tournament once more. New Zealand is the only team to have ever won the Rugby World Cup Sevens three times before, in 2001, 2013, and 2018.

Kurt Baker, who is 33 years old, stated that there is always pressure on their squad to win competitions. “We put it on ourselves to go and win tournaments whether it’s the World Cup, the World Series, or anything,” Kurt Baker said.

There’s no getting around the reality that others anticipate us to come out on top, and we have the same expectation of ourselves. It is really thrilling to have the possibility of getting three in a row, but there is still a good deal of ground to cover before we achieve it.

Due to COVID-19-related travel limitations, New Zealand missed the first four rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022, but they enter Cape Town with momentum.


In addition to the silver medal they earned in their first competition back in Singapore, Clark Laidlaw’s squad concluded the season as one of the Series’ in-form teams, placing second in London before winning the Los Angeles crown a fortnight ago. For Kurt Baker, it was a unique way to commemorate his 50th international competition for New Zealand.

“It’s been challenging for everyone (because of COVID-19), but I believe that the fact that we were unable to leave New Zealand contributed to the fact that we were unable to engage in real competition for a little longer than other teams. I’m not sure whether that’s why it’s taken us so long to get our footing, but I believe we left LA last week on top, which is always positive heading into a competition like the World Cup,” he added.

“I believe we simply connected as a team, there are lots of technical stuff we’ve been working on, and I suppose our group has evolved quite a bit over the last 12 months from tournament to tournament,” the player said.

There are some fresh, young players who have great potential but who haven’t yet been given a chance. I believe that at some point, everyone gained a little more experience.

When we were down a few players early in the competition, I believe we too had our backs against the wall a little bit and had no option but to put our hands up.

New Zealand will be one of the teams to beat in Cape Town with a bronze medal from the Commonwealth Games with the likes of Scott Curry recovering from an injury in time for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2022.

Any successful team, including the 2018 squad, often has a good deal of experience, so having someone like Scus, who has served as one of our inspiring leaders for a while, is fantastic for our team. But we also have some young, interesting players, so I believe the combination is good; we just need to get started right away.

“In our opinion, the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, and the World Cups represent the pinnacles. We would consider winning any of those three to be quite extraordinary, he continued.

In retrospect, San Francisco remains one of my favorite competitions. I’m not sure if it was because sevens was gaining popularity at the time in America and the American public really got behind it, but rugby seemed to blow their minds a little.

If the 2019 final is any indication, Cape Town will be a step above San Francisco, in my opinion (New Zealand beat South Africa 7-5). The South African supporters are quite fervent.

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