The All Blacks Sevens team are training hard under coach Gordon Tietjens at Mount Maunganui before heading across to Australia for the Oceania Tournament, a warm-up event before the first leg of the HSBC Sevens Series that kicks off in the Gold Coast in two weeks time.
With five new faces to the squad this season Gilles Kākā (Ngāti Kahungunu) will be one of the leaders in the team. He says, "They've been picked for a reason so it's just keep doing what you're doing and have a lot of fun."
Fitness is one of the main ingredients to Sevens' success for the team but with some new blood in the team, it's more around planning this week.
The full 16 players will head to Noosa for the tournament with the playing 12 being named later in the week. It will serve as ideal preparation for the opening round of the World Series in a fortnight.
The All Blacks Sevens team have had a good break following the Commonwealth Games so there's a lot of excitement within the team heading into their new season.
Kākā says, "It's good to be back in the environment after having a long lay-off, the boys have been training hard and relishing the opportunity to be back."
The team fly out tomorrow before the real work starts on Friday with games against Niue, Papa New Guinea and Samoa.
Oceania Sevens playing schedule:
Friday 3 October -
9:20am (12:20pm NZT) v Niue
12:20pm (3:20pm NZT) v Papua New Guinea
3:20pm (6:20pm NZT) v Samoa
Saturday 4 October -