All Blacks Sevens team named for Hong Kong Sevens
The All Blacks Sevens team for the Hong Kong Sevens has been named and features seven debutants.
The squad is (* denotes debut)
Jordan Bunce (Waikato)
Tima Faingaanuku* (Tasman)
Rocky Khan (Auckland)
Luke Masirewa (Bay of Plenty)
Etene Nanai-Seturo (Counties Manukau)
Jona Nareki* (Otago)
Tone Ng Shiu (Tasman)
Amanaki Nicole* (Canterbury)
Joe Ravouvou (Auckland)
Salesi Rayasi* (Auckland)
Akuila Rokolisoa* (Counties Manukau)
Dan Schrijvers* (Wellington)
Bailey Simonsson* (Bay of Plenty)
With the Commonwealth Games team currently preparing in Australia, this All Blacks Sevens team will be coached by Roger Randle and Aussie McLean.
New Zealand Rugby’s High Performance Sevens Manager Tony Philp said it was vital to have experienced coaches lead the group at this World Series tournament.
“The Commonwealth Games is a pinnacle tournament and it was important for us to make sure that squad had the correct preparation, so they are already on the ground in Australia.
“It presented an exciting opportunity for some of the younger players in our contracted squad to form the core of this Hong Kong team and it was imperative to make sure they have a quality management team around them.
“Roger brings international sevens experience as both a player and a coach, along with Aussie whose coaching pedigree is top shelf, we are really happy to have these men lead this group.
“We’re under no illusion that Hong Kong will present a tough challenge for this group but they have been preparing well and there is a real air of excitement about what they can achieve,” said Philp.
Coach Roger Randle said the team has been training well together and are looking forward to getting to Hong Kong.
“We’ve named a strong team for Hong Kong. For a number of these guys it will be the first time they pull on a black jersey and to do that at the Hong Kong Sevens will be an incredible moment for them.
“We come up against Fiji, Samoa and Russia in pool play which is a tough assignment, but we are confident in the group we have selected,” said Randle.
The squad features six players with World Series experience alongside seven debutants. Amanaki Nicole, Jona Nareki and Bailey Simonsson are fully contracted with the All Blacks Sevens team while Salesi Rayasi, Dan Schrijvers, Akuila Rokolisoa and Tima Faingaanuku have been involved in training camps over the past three months.
Both Nareki and Faingaanuku played in the New Zealand Under 20s in 2017, Rayasi has previously played in the New Zealand development sevens team.
The Hong Kong Sevens kicks off on 6 April.