There are two injury-enforced changes to the All Blacks Sevens team named for the HSBC Canada Sevens this weekend.
The All Blacks Sevens team is;
1. Trael Joass
2. Tim Mikkelson (c)
3. Tone Ng Shiu
4. Joe Ravouvou
5. Scott Gregory
6. Vilimoni Koroi
7. Sam Dickson
8. Andrew Knewstubb
9. Regan Ware
10. Ngarohi McGarvey-Black
11. Jona Nareki
12. Sione Molia (c)
*Te Puoho Stephens is the travelling reserve.
Andrew Knewstubb and Ngarohi McGarvey-Black have joined the team in Vancouver and replace the injured Akuila Rokolisoa and Kurt Baker who have returned home.
Knewstubb has impressed this season to date and before missing the Las Vegas tournament last weekend, was the Series leading points scorer. McGarvey-Black comes into the team after last playing in Cape Town in December.
All Blacks Sevens Coach Clark Laidlaw said the quick turnaround made it an easy decision to bring in fresh legs.
“We expect Andrew and Ngarohi to come in and add a lot. Andrew is having a break-through season and playing bloody well, Ngarohi debuted this time last year in Las Vegas, the indoor stadium here in Vancouver is a fast track and that suits his game.”
The All Blacks Sevens finished third last weekend in Las Vegas, dropping the semi-final to eventual winners USA.
“We thought we played extremely well for most parts of the weekend. Against USA we gave away a few cheap penalties which allowed them to get momentum at end. We are frustrated to lose that semi-final the way we did but we are confident in where our game is at.”
Now sitting second on the World Series, Laidlaw said the focus is getting back into the number one position.
“That’s our focus, to win the World Series. But we are realistic that USA are playing some awesome rugby and we have huge respect for the way they are playing the game. We think we are playing with some consistency, but we need to step that up.”
The All Blacks Sevens will face France, Spain and Australia in pool play.