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The Cook Islands rugby sevens squad – accompanied by drummers beating their pate –marched through the streets of Wellington on Thursday (NZ time) for the Wellington Sevens tournament street parade.

The street parade in downtown Wellington was a sign of things to come as the city turned out in their thousands to celebrate the tournament.

All 16 participating teams took part in the parade, each with their own cheerleading squad, on board trailer floats that drove through the highrises of the city to the delight of all the rugby sevens fans on the eve of the 12th Wellington tournament.

“This is a really special event for New Zealand, Wellington and the New Zealand team,” said one member of the crowd already in fancy dress.

“It is great to see teams from all over the world getting together, people gathering to celebrate and all enjoying the wonderful summer sun.”

A big crowd of rugby sevens supporters from the Cook Islands will be cheering on the local team at the tournament along with hundreds more Cook Islands supporters living in New Zealand.