The All Blacks Sevens squad of 14 who will travel to the next two tournaments of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Hong Kong (8-10 April) and Singapore (16-17 April) has been named.
Super Rugby player Pita Ahki who last played for New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 will join the squad. He was also a member of the 2013 World Cup sevens winning side.
Pita Ahki (North Harbour)
Kurt Baker (Taranaki)
Dylan Collier (Waikato)
Sam Dickson (Canterbury)
DJ Forbes (Counties Manukau)
Gillies Kaka (Hawke’s Bay)
Liam Messam (Waikato)
Tim Mikkelson (Captain) (Waikato)
Sione Molia (Counties Manukau)
Lewis Ormond (Taranaki)
Teddy Stanaway (Bay of Plenty)
Isaac Te Tamaki (Waikato)
Regan Ware (Waikato)
Sonny Bill Williams (Counties Manukau)
Scott Curry, Billy Ropiha and Joe Webber will not be playing due to injury. Super Rugby players Akira Ioane, Rieko Ioane, Augustine Pulu and Ardie Savea will be available for selection for the final two tournaments of the World Series in Paris and London.
Coach Gordon Tietjens said it was a tough selection after yesterday’s trial.
“The key this year is getting the balance right so we give all the players the opportunity in a really important year to stake their claim to be in contention for the Olympics by playing in a World Series tournament. We want to go to Hong Kong and perform really well.”
“Sonny Bill and Liam are back in the reckoning. Liam had a very good final in Vancouver and will want to back that up in Hong Kong. Sonny is coming off the back of two very good tournaments in Sydney and Wellington and wants to get back into it. He’s been training well and will be looking forward to Hong Kong."
The playing team of 12 for Hong Kong will be named next week.