New talent set for Oceania Sevens
The All Blacks Sevens team and a Black Ferns Sevens development side have been named ahead of this weekend’s Oceania Sevens tournament in Fiji with a number of exciting young players set to don the black jersey.
The All Blacks Sevens team is; (* denotes new cap)
Jordan Bunce (Waikato)
Dylan Collier (Waikato)
Scott Curry (Bay of Plenty)
Sam Dickson (Bay of Plenty)
Scott Gregory (Northland)*
Taylor Haugh (Otago)*
Trael Joass (Bay of Plenty)
Luke Masirewa (Bay of Plenty)
Tim Mikkelson (Waikato)
Tone Ng Shiu (Tasman)
Amanaki Nicole (Canterbury)
Ngarohi McGarvey-Black (Bay of Plenty)
Joe Ravouvou (Auckland)
Andrew Knewstubb (Horowhenua Kapiti)
With several players still to return from Mitre 10 Cup duties, Coach Clark Laidlaw has two new caps in Scott Gregory and Taylor Haugh along with the return of several players from long term injury.
Ngarohi McGarvey-Black and Amanaki Nicole had promising All Blacks Sevens debuts in 2018 but injury cut their seasons short, while Luke Masirewa and Tone Ng Shiu get a chance after limited game time in 2018.
Laidlaw said the Oceania Sevens was a great chance for the team to get out on the field before the HSBC World Series kicks off at the end of the month.
“We’re excited to get back out there. We’ve had small numbers in pre-season with a lot of guys still with Mitre 10 Cup but the players we have had are working hard and can’t wait to get into some rugby.
“This tournament presents a good opportunity for some of our younger players to step up with a number of our senior boys not playing and also builds depth by giving players a crack at this level.
Dylan Collier and Sam Dickson will captain the team, with regular co-captains Tim Mikkelson and Scott Curry travelling with the team as reserves.
“Dylan and Sam are senior players in our team that already lead by their actions, this will be a good challenge from them to lead a young group in the build up to and during a tournament.
The All Blacks Sevens will face New Caledonia and Nauru in pool play with competition kicking off on Friday.
The Black Ferns Sevens Development team is;
Shakira Baker (Waikato)
Kendall Buckingham (Southland)
Huia Harding (Waikato)
Talei Kidd (Auckland)
Rina Paraone (Waikato)
Mahina Paul (Bay of Plenty)
Chey Reti (Waikato)
Leanna Ryan (Waikato)
Kennedy Simon (Waikato)
Susana Sotutu (Auckland)
Grace Steinmetz (Canterbury)
Terina Te Tamaki (Waikato)
Janna Vaughan (Manawatu)
Development team Coach Crystal Kaua said exposing the next level of sevens talent to international competition was crucial in the development of players.
“Our job in this development team is to get this group of players that are behind the fully contracted squad ready to transition into that space. It really is a stepping stone to that Black Ferns Sevens squad and we have already seen players graduate from this team into full time contracts.
“We are together for a short amount of time so we want to get these players in an environment where they can be confident and express themselves on the field.
The Black Ferns Sevens Development team has experience in the form of Black Ferns Sevens players Shakira Baker, Terina Te Tamaki and Huia Harding.
“Those girls bring a lot of mana to our environment, they are very willing to share their knowledge and want the players around them to do well.
The team last played at the Hokkaido Sevens in Japan in September, losing to the Australian national team in the Final.
The Black Ferns Sevens Development team play Fiji, Cook Islands and New Caledonia in pool play, starting on Friday.
Friday 9 November
11.21am Black Ferns Sevens Development v New Caledonia
2.30pm Black Ferns Sevens Development v Cook Islands
4.36pm All Blacks Sevens v Nauru
5.39pm Black Ferns Sevens Development v Fiji
7.45pm All Blacks Sevens v New Caledonia
Saturday 10 November
For more information, visit the Oceania Rugby website.