The All Blacks Sevens squad was announced today for the final two legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Sir Gordon Tietjens named his 16-man squad for the Paris and London tournaments which includes sevens old guards DJ Forbes, Tim Mikkelson and Scott Curry who bring decades of Sevens experience and reliability.
Exciting young Māori brothers Akira and Rieko Ioane have committed to the squad despite fellow young gun Ardie Savea pulling out to pursue the 15-man game instead. The brothers have been standouts for the Blues and will add excitement and raw talent to the squad that has been missing them since the Sydney leg back in February.
The 16-man side also includes big names Liam Messam and Sonny Bill Williams who are gunning for Rio Olympic selection.
In a statement Sir Gordon Tietjens said he was pleased with the mix.
“It’s a very experienced group coupled with an exciting core of young players who are tasting sevens for the first time this season so it’s great we can take a larger group than normal to these two tournaments as we build towards Rio.”
The All Blacks Sevens are currently ranked third on the table following Fiji and South Africa and will need to turn things around following disappointing results at the previous three tournaments.
The squad will travel to Europe and will be the same 16 that will take part in trials for the New Zealand Olympic Sevens team which will be named by the Olympic Committee in early July.
The squad is:
Pita Ahki (North Harbour)
Kurt Baker (Taranaki)
Dylan Collier (Waikato)
Scott Curry (Bay of Plenty)
DJ Forbes (Counties Manukau)
Akira Ioane (Auckland)
Rieko Ioane (Auckland)
Gillies Kaka (Hawke’s Bay)
Liam Messam (Waikato)
Tim Mikkelson (Waikato)
Sione Molia (Counties Manukau)
Lewis Ormond (Taranaki)
Augustine Pulu (Counties Manukau)
Teddy Stanaway (Bay of Plenty)
Regan Ware (Waikato)
Sonny Bill Williams (Counties Manukau)