All Blacks Sevens team named for World Series opener, Gold Coast, Australia

Oct 7 • General News, International, Sevens Rugby, Sevens World Series, World Rugby • 2197 Views • Comments Off on All Blacks Sevens team named for World Series opener, Gold Coast, Australia

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The All Blacks Sevens side has been named to play in the opening tournament of the HSBC World Sevens Series on the Gold Coast, in Australia this weekend.

The team is (*new to All Blacks Sevens):

1. Scott Curry
2. Tim Mikkelson
3. Sam Dickson
4. DJ Forbes, captain
5. Lote Raikabula
6. Tomasi Cama
7. Matt Clutterbuck*
8. Gilles Kaka
9. Sherwin Stowers
10. Joe Webber
11. George Tilsley
12. Tony Ensor *

Waikato speedster Joe Webber has been released from ITM Cup duty for the All Blacks Sevens squad, joining them in time for today’s training.

New recruits Matt Clutterbuck (Bay of Plenty) and Tony Ensor (Otago) have earned their first call-ups into the All Blacks Sevens squad after putting in impressive performances last weekend in the New Zealand development side that lost the Noosa Sevens Final to Fiji.

Coach Sir Gordon Tietjens said the Noosa tournament provided essential preparation for this weekend’s first leg of the 2014/2015 HSBC World Sevens Series.

“That tournament wasn’t about winning for us … for me the most important thing was sevens conditioning and nothing beats real game time to help the guys get that conditioning.

“We’ve got a few guys who haven’t played sevens for a while or who haven’t had a lot of rugby due to injury … and Noosa certainly helped guys like Sherwin (Stowers), Lote (Raikabula) and Tomasi (Cama) get back on the Sevens horse.

“I’m pretty happy with how the boys went, and it’s just what we needed heading into the first tournament of the World Series,” he said.

“Our focus now is to win this Gold Coast tournament. It’s pretty simple – we want to make the top four so we need to play well on day 1, and then we focus on playing well on day 2.

“We want to win this first leg of the World Series to kick-start our campaign. This is the most important year for us in terms of our road to the Olympics – we can’t take anything for granted and from our point of view, there are no easy games – so the goal is to win,” he said.

Webber’s call-up had been driven by a need for a seasoned winger.

“Joe’s experience will be really important out there as we do want to hit our straps running.

“Jordan (Bunce) had an outstanding tournament, and he is unlucky that a leg injury has ruled him out of contention, as he had certainly done enough to earn himself a place in the All Blacks Sevens side. But his time will come.”

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