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All Blacks Sevens team for RWC Sevens

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The All Blacks Sevens team to compete in Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow has been selected by Coach Sir Gordon Tietjens and revealed at a special event at Eden Park, Auckland this afternoon.

The team is:7sa

Kurt Baker
Tomasi Cama
Scott Curry
Sam Dickson
DJ Forbes
Bryce Heem
Gillies Kaka
Tim Mikkelson
Waisake Naholo
Lote Raikabula
David Raikuna
Sherwin Stowers

Sir Gordon said he was pleased with the mix of experience and young blood in the team selected after a trial camp in Mount Maunganui this week (see player profiles below).

“It’s been an intense few days and competition for places has been strong as I know all players are really keen on taking part in a World Cup.

“There is something very special about the Cup which only comes around once every four years and playing in a country we have yet to visit as a team is also pretty exciting.”

Three team members – DJ Forbes, Tomasi Cama and Lote Raikabula – took part in the last World Cup in Dubai in 2009. Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 takes place in Moscow 28-30 June.

“On the Sevens World Series circuit this year we have tested a group of young, exciting players so it’s really pleasing to include a number of them in the team. A World Cup is something completely different so they know they are in for a real test.

“The good thing is we have a core of players in DJ, Junior and Lote who know well the pressure cooker environment of a World Cup so that will certainly help the younger players cope with the challenges in Moscow.

“We really want to do well over there as we haven’t won the Cup since 2001. This is also the last World Cup before the Olympics so Moscow is also going to be very valuable in terms of our planning to ensure we are in the best possible shape for Rio in 2016.”

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew wished the All Blacks Sevens and New Zealand Women’s Sevens teams all the best in Moscow. “We are really proud of both teams who have performed so well this year to take out the men’s and women’s World Series titles.

“It’s a huge credit to the players and management group behind each team, particularly New Zealand Women’s Sevens who have really only been together for about a year since the Go4Gold recruitment programme early last year.

“The season has been excellent preparation for the World Cup which is a really important event so we are all hugely excited about seeing both teams in action in what will be a fascinating part of the world to play rugby.”

Note: The All Blacks Sevens will assemble for a pre-departure camp in Mount Maunganui on Monday 17 June, before departing for Moscow on Friday 21 June. A full media schedule will be issued next week.

All Blacks Sevens Pool D match schedule (NZT)

Friday 28 June

– 15.44 – v Canada (11.44pmNZT)

Saturday 29 June

– 9:44 – v Georgia (5.44pm)

– 16:20 – v USA (12.20am 30 June)

Finals Sunday 30 June

– Quarter Finals (from 9pm NZT)

– Semi-Finals (from 12.40am 1 July)

– 20:55 – Final (4.55am NZT 1 July)

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