Two changes have been made to the All Blacks Sevens team for the seventh leg of the HSBC World Series in Hong Kong.
Pita Ahki will return after having last played for New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Isaac Te Tamaki also returns from injury.
The team is:
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)
Coach Gordon Tietjens welcomes Pita Ahki back to the squad.
“Pita's a very capable footballer and very experienced in sevens rugby having played at Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2013 where we won. He’s very good defensively and a strong attacking player. He's in the Hurricanes now and for them to release him is certainly great moving forward because he’s got an opportunity now to really stamp his mark and have a crack at making Rio.”
Isaac Te Tamaki hasn't played for the team since the Cape Town Sevens in December last year.
“Isaac's still a young guy and learning lots about the game, but he’s got a real x factor. He’s probably our quickest player. He’s got a great step, he’s incredibly strong and can break tackles. He’s the sort of player who can get the team out of tight games and win tournaments.”
New Zealand is in Pool A and will play Samoa, France and Kenya with pool games spread over two days. First up is France on Friday night.