The All Blacks Sevens team for the final tournament of the 2016/2017 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in London has been named with two new caps, Tamati Samuels and Jessie Houston, joining the side for the first time and Andrew Knewstubb returning from injury.
The team is (* denotes new cap)
|DJ Forbes (C)||Counties Manukau|
|Tone Ng Shiu||Tasman|
|Tamati Samuels*||Hawke’s Bay|
|Sherwin Stowers||Counties Manukau|
|Regan Ware||Bay of Plenty|
|Joe Webber||Bay of Plenty|
Lewis Ormond Taranaki
Rocky Khan (calf Injury) Sione Molia (shoulder injury) Jamie Booth (quad injury) were not available for selection after sustaining injuries in last weekend’s Paris tournament.
All Blacks Sevens Head Coach Scott Waldrom said the team was pleased with their third-placed performance in Paris, but still disappointed with their loss to South Africa in the Semi Finals.
“Despite so many players being out injured we came together well in Paris with a relatively inexperienced side and produced some good sevens rugby. With a bit more time together this week, we are hoping to do even better in the final tournament of the series. Our goal is to play exciting and consistent rugby.
“Rocky, Sione and Jamie have sustained injuries in Paris, so we’ve had to go beyond our group of contracted players to bring in Jesse Houston and Tamati Samuels for this tournament. It means we have the opportunity to give more players experience and they can prove themselves at international level after strong showings at this year’s nationals.
“We have a very competitive pool. Canada won the recent Singapore tournament and will be very confident after beating us in the quarterfinal of that tournament, and playing our old rivals Fiji is always a tough game. But to win tournaments you have to win all your games, and we will be taking it one match at a time and our first focus will be the improving Japanese side coached by Kiwi Damian Karuna.
“This year has been focused on rebuilding, blooding new talent and developing a new game plan. There’s been a lot we’re proud of and it would be great to end this series on a high.”