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How sevens star's stunning Bronco time compares to All Black Cam Roigard

By Finn Morton
Andrew Knewstubb of New Zealand runs home a try during the International Sevens Trans-Tasman Series match between the New Zealand All Blacks Sevens and the Australia Sevens at Eden Park on May 22, 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

The All Blacks’ pre-season Bronco ‘winner’ Cam Roigard has some serious competition from sevens star Andrew Knewstubb in the race to be crowned New Zealand’s fittest rugby player.

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Roigard, 23, stole the show during the All Blacks’ brief two-day in Auckland early in the New Year with the Hurricanes halfback clocking in with a time of 4:12 in the gruelling Bronco blitz.

The Bronco is growing in popularity around the world as coaches challenge athletes to run 20, 40 and 60-metre shuttle runs five times without stopping.

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Sam Dickson talks to RugbyPass about the All Blacks Sevens early exit | Perth SVNS

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Sam Dickson talks to RugbyPass about the All Blacks Sevens early exit | Perth SVNS

Rugby World Cup-winning All Black Beauden Barrett clocked in with a time for 4 minutes and 12 seconds a few years ago, but now that record is under threat – and not just from Roigard.

Olympian Sam Dickson has revealed that Andrew Knewstubb may have beaten both of those All Blacks’ efforts with a rapid time of 4:11. But it was widely reported in December that Knewstubb has actually run 4:12 – either way, though, it’s supremely quick.

“That’s pretty sharp from Cam Roigard,” Dickson told RugbyPass in Perth. “He’s got a motor on him.

“Andrew Knewstubb, he’s our little rabbit. He’d run, I think 4.11 as well to be honest not too long ago. He’s coming back from an ACL, back-to-back ACL (injuries). He’s pretty fit at the moment.

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“Most of us big forwards are about 4.30, just under, just over. Got a couple in the fives but they’re more power athletes than endurance.”

When Dickson spoke with RugbyPass at Perth’s HBF Park last Saturday, all of his teammates had just walked past with disappointed looks stretched across their faces.

New Zealand, who won the sevens series’ overall title after a captivating run to glory in 2022/23, had finished ninth after failing to make the Cup quarter-finals for the first time this season.

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France and Fiji beat the All Blacks Sevens in pool play, but the Kiwis managed to defeat Samoa – although that came down to a last-minute Regan Ware try in golden point.

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It was far from a successful three-day outing on Australia’s west coast. New Zealand also relied on a Fehi Fineanganofo match-winner to beat Canada in the ninth-place semi-final.

“Samoa is a very fit, physical team and Brian Lima has trained them very well,” Sam Dickson, who returned from injury in time for SVNS Perth, said.

“For Timmy (Mikkelson) to finish off at the end, that’s why we brought him off the bench is his x-factor out wide with his speed. To finish off like that was just great.

“It was a pleasing finish to the tournament even though we didn’t get the result we wanted.

“It’s probably the amount of rugby that we’ve played,” Dickson added.

“We had a real disjointed off-season with more than half of our squad playing NPC and we didn’t really have a proper pre-season. We trying to play a little bit of catchup in that case.

“Credit to the other teams, they’re playing outstanding this year and you could see the whole level has raised so much. One to 12 could win the tournament.

“Samoa were unlucky not to go through. They just got pipped by us and Fiji so it just shows how good they are they’re going to finish (eleventh). Just shows how tight it is.

“We’re slowly building towards the Olympics, the Olympics is our main goal. We’ve got a lot of boys returning from long-term injury that’s going to really reinforce our team and bring a lot of energy and fire.

“We’re not stressing. We know what we’re doing and we’ve got a plan in place.”

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