Changes aim to bring edge for All Blacks Sevens
The All Blacks Sevens head to the HSBC London and Paris Sevens with a change in leadership and an eye to developing and growing the squad.
Kurt Baker and Sione Molia will take up co-captaincy for the two tournaments as Coach Clark Laidlaw looks to build the leadership capabilities of the team.
The All Blacks Sevens squad is :
Kurt Baker (Manawatu) – co-captain
Dylan Collier (Waikato)
Scott Curry (Bay of Plenty)
Sam Dickson (Canterbury)
Tim Mikkelson (Waikato)
Sione Molia (Counties Manukau) – co-captain
Etene Nanai-Seturo (Counties Manukau)
Jona Nareki (Otago)
Tone Ng Shiu (Tasman)
Salesi Rayasi (Auckland)
Akuila Rokolisoa (Counties Manukau)
Bailey Simonsson (Bay of Plenty)
Regan Ware (Bay of Plenty)
Laidlaw said the temporary changes have created an edge within the squad.
“The theory has come from working with our sports psychologist about how we accelerate the leadership within the team and management.
“We’re excited about this initiative as it will grow us on and off the field heading to the World Cup and ultimately we think it can help us to win both London and Paris,” said Laidlaw.
“We talk a lot about who leads and influences our team. Sione co-captained the team in Singapore so he was an obvious choice. Kurt is a big influence on our team environment so it is about developing him to assist us to grow the team. It’s a great opportunity for those two boys to grow and take charge of the team.”
“Our goal on the field is still the same, we want to win these next two tournaments and we are going to do everything we can to make sure we perform and perform well.”
With several players unavailable for selection, Hong Kong debutants Bailey Simonsson, Salesi Rayasi and Jona Nareki are in line for their second tournament appearances while Regan Ware returns to add experience to the backline.
Unavailable for selection:
- Andrew Knewstubb
- Vilimoni Koroi
- Amanaki Nicole
- Ngarohi McGarvey-Black
- Joe Ravouvou
- Joe Webber