The All Blacks Sevens team to play the fifth leg of the 2015/16 HSBC World Series, USA Sevens, (4-6 March) in Las Vegas has been named.
It features the return of Rugby World Cup winning All Blacks loose forward Liam Messam who pulls on the sevens jersey for the first time since helping New Zealand win gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2010.
The team is;
Kurt Baker (Taranaki)
Dylan Collier (Waikato)
Sam Dickson (Canterbury)
DJ Forbes (Counties Manukau)
Gillies Kaka (Hawke’s Bay)
Josh Van Lieshout* (Counties Manukau)
Liam Messam (Waikato)
Tim Mikkelson (Captain) (Waikato)
Sione Molia* (Counties Manukau)
Lewis Ormond (Taranaki)
Beaudein Waaka (Taranaki)
Regan Ware (Waikato)
Counties Manukau team-mates Josh van Lieshout and Sione Molia will make their sevens debuts at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. The two were selected for the squad last month after impressing coach Gordon Tietjens at the Bayleys National Sevens where Counties Manukau won the national title.
Tietjens said he had also chosen to rest Sonny Bill Williams following two pleasing performances at Wellington Sevens and Sydney Sevens.
New Zealand media note: Gordon Tietjens will be available for media interviews between 4.00pm and 4.30pm today. Please call team manager Ross Everiss on +64 27 448 7013 during that period.
USA Sevens 4-6 March
The All Blacks Sevens have been drawn in Pool A after winning the recent Sydney Sevens and will face Kenya, Portugal and Russia. New Zealand is currently jointly leading the series, tied on 69 points with Fiji and South Africa.
Match schedule – pool play
(Las Vegas is 21 hours behind NZ time)
Friday 4 March
v Portugal 15.51 (12.51 NZT Saturday 5 March)
v Russia 18.52 (15.52 NZT Saturday 5 March)
Saturday 5 March
v Kenya 11.54 (8.54 NZT Sunday 6 March)
Watch on SKY Sport Pop-up Channel 056
Day 1: Saturday 5 March – 12.40pm-7.00pm
Day 2: Sunday 6 March – 8.20am-4.00pm
Day 3: Monday 7 March – 7.20am-1.45pm