All Blacks Sevens prepared for tough challenge at HSBC London Sevens
The All Blacks Sevens are in England and preparing to face three home nations on day one of the HSBC Sevens, drawn in Pool C alongside Scotland, Ireland and England.
The All Blacks Sevens team is;
1. Scott Curry (c)
2. Tim Mikkelson (c)
3. Tone Ng Shiu
4. Jona Nareki
5. Dylan Collier
6. Vilimoni Koroi
7. Scott Gregory
8. Andrew Knewstubb
9. Regan Ware
10. Kurt Baker
11. Joe Webber
12. Sione Molia
*Joe Ravouvou is the travelling reserve.
The All Blacks Sevens head into the last two tournaments of the season with a strong squad.
“It’s really encouraging to have most of the guys fit and available, we are really excited by this team we’ve got,” said All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw.
Speedstar Joe Ravouvou has been named as 13th man, which Laidlaw says shows the strength of the backline and rewards players like Jona Nareki and Regan Ware who are having breakthrough seasons.
An interesting pool assignment sees the All Blacks Sevens come up against Scotland, Ireland and England on day one and Laidlaw is well aware of the home support and lack of travel that will bolster those sides.
“The biggest thing they will bring is passion as they all have something to play for. We need to make sure we build our emotional levels to match those three teams – they are more or less all playing at home so we need to bring a real physicality to our game.”
Olympic Qualification is also front of mind, the All Blacks Sevens currently sit in third behind USA and Fiji. They are nine and 23 points ahead of South Africa and England respectively and need to produce two solid performances over the coming weekends to cement their position in the top four.
• The All Blacks Sevens have won the London Sevens on five occasions; in 2001, 2002, 2007, 2013 and 2014
• The All Blacks Sevens sit third on the World Series points table, behind USA and Fiji. They need to finish in the top four to automatically qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games.
• The All Blacks Sevens currently lead the World Series for most tackles and sit second, behind Fiji, for most points and most tries.
Schedule (dates and times in NZT)
Day One – Saturday 25th / Sunday 26th May
- 10.42pm v Scotland
- 1.48am v Ireland
- 5.16am v England
Day Two – Sunday 26th / Monday 27th May
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 30 November – 1 December, Dubai – WINNERS
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 8-9 December, Cape Town – FOURTH PLACE
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 26-27 January, Hamilton – THIRD PLACE
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 2-3 February, Sydney – WINNERS
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 1-3 March, Las Vegas – THIRD PLACE
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 9-10 March, Vancouver – FIFTH PLACE
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 5-7 April, Hong Kong – SIXTH PLACE
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 13-14 April, Singapore – SIXTH PLACE
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 25-26 May, London
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 1-2 June, Paris