All Blacks sevens coach Clark Laidlaw has named four players set to make their debuts at the Oceania 7s Championships set to kick off in Suva tomorrow.
The Rugby Sevens World Cup champions are using the three-day Suva tournament to build depth for the future especially 2019-20 World Sevens Series which kicks off on December 5-7.
The 7s newbies are William Warbrick, Te Rangatira Waitokia, Jamie Spowart and Niko Jones who will join veterans like Kurt Baker, Dylan Collier and Tim Mikkelson.
Two Fijians in the mix are Amanaki Nicole and Akuila Rokolisoa.
Laidlaw said it was a great opportunity for the young players to gain international experience.
“Pre-season tournaments allow us to give younger players some good exposure. It’s a genuine opportunity for us to build depth; we’ve got a long season ahead of us so it’s important,”Laidlaw told Rugby Heaven
The Oceania tournament serves as the second pre-series tournament for the All Blacks Sevens after participating in the Oktoberfest Sevens last month, while the Black Ferns Sevens kicked their World Series off with a third place finish in Glendale in October.
While the Oceania tournament serves as an Olympic qualifier, both New Zealand teams have already secured qualification for Tokyo 2020.
The All Blacks Sevens will play Fiji, New Caledonia and Niue and Japan.
All Blacks Sevens team: Kurt Baker, Dylan Collier, Scott Curry, Taylor Haugh, Trael Joass, Niko Jones, Ngarohi, Mikkleson, Amanaki Nicole, Akuila Rokolisoa, Jamie Spowart, Te Rangatira Waitokia, William Warbrick.
Edited by Grace Narayan