After more than a year on the sidelines, Joe Webber has been named in the All Blacks Sevens team for the HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.
Webber has recovered from reactive arthritis and joins Scott Curry and Dylan Collier in the 13-man squad who are also returning from injury breaks.
The squad is;
|Scott Curry||Bay of Plenty|
|Andrew Knewstubb||Horowhenua Kapiti|
|Sione Molia||Counties Manukau|
|Tone Ng Shiu||Tasman|
|Akuila Rokolisoa||Counties Manukau|
|Joe Webber||Bay of Plenty|
Coach Clark Laidlaw said the ability to pick from an almost fully fit squad sees a strong team selected for the seventh tournament on the HSBC World Series.
“We have really tested our depth in the forward pack in recent tournaments and all the players have really stepped up. It is good to have Scott and Dylan back going into Hong Kong, their experience will be crucial in such a big event.”
Laidlaw said Webber’s return is exciting for the entire team.
“Joe is one of the best attacking players in the game of sevens. He has worked so hard over the past year and kept such a positive attitude; we are all looking forward to seeing him out on the field again.”
The All Blacks Sevens sit second on the World Series behind the USA and know a strong result in Hong Kong will go a long way to secure an Olympic berth in 2020.
A tough pool assignment sees the All Blacks Sevens come up against Fiji, Australia and Kenya in the first two days of competition.
“It doesn’t get much harder than that. We start on Friday against Australia and that is where our focus is at the moment, we need to be ready to fire straight away.”
Following the Hong Kong tournament the team will travel to Singapore for the Singapore Sevens the following weekend.
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 30 November – 1 December, Dubai – WINNERS
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 8-9 December, Cape Town – FOURTH PLACE
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 26-27 January, Hamilton – THIRD PLACE
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 2-3 February, Sydney – WINNERS
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 1-3 March, Las Vegas – THIRD PLACE
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 9-10 March, Vancouver – FIFTH PLACE
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 5-7 April, Hong Kong
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 13-14 April, Singapore
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 25-26 May, London
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 1-2 June, Paris