Tougher penalties for Sevens pitch invaders

The Wellington Sevens pitch invader tackles Samoan player Alatasi Tupou. [Photosport]

Westpac Stadium employs a rapid response team of athletic security guards who are trained to chase down speedy pitch invaders who've had one too many.

Sevens security is likely to be beefed up next year after a man in his underwear invaded the pitch on Friday and tackled a Samoan player.

The man jumped a barrier to run on to the pitch during Friday night's last sevens game and pulled Samoan player Alatasi Tupou to the ground with a head-high tackle during the match against New Zealand.

The scantily clad young man was chased down by the stadium security team and arrested. Police have charged a 19-year-old from Foxton with assault. He is due to appear in court this month and has also been issued with a trespass notice banning him from Westpac Stadium for two years.

Tournament general manager Steve Walters said the incident was a "huge disappointment". "It's a major issue for us and it is something that we will certainly address."


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