Kurt Baker of Ngāpuhi has been named co-captain with Sione Molia in the All Blacks NZ Sevens men's team as they prepare to head off to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in London.
Baker says that it's an exciting time with the All Blacks Sevens team's hopes to develop new leaders following the announcement of two co-captains for the next series of the HSBC.
“I think it's an exciting opportunity for us as a team to sort of grow what we are trying to do. Obviously Scott [and] Timi have been our co-captains all year so for them to mentor Sione and I for the next couple of weeks will be exciting. For the last three weeks the team has been in relax mode but this week with training their top priority their focus is to work as a team".
Coach Clark Laidlaw says, “The idea really is try to execute some of the on-field and off-field leadership, create an edge, because the two captains now need to mentor two new captains and we need to help them run the team on and off the field- the same that Tim and Scott have done all year”.
The All Blacks Sevens team currently sits at third in standings for the HSBC World Series behind Fiji and South Africa.
“We go in there with the intention of winning both. I think you'd be lying if we [said we] went to a tournament not to win. So, the three week's work that we have done leading up to it will put us in good stead for it,” says Baker.
The team travel to London this weekend before taking the field on 2-3 June.