SPORTS

4 Fijians To Boost Series Leaders

“Last year we were preparing for Commonwealth Games and didn’t have Las Vegas as a focus. This year we are going over slightly ear­ly to help with the time difference and to get settled so hopefully that can get us on the front foot and set us up for a good week of training,” said Laidlaw.
24 Feb 2019 09:55
4 Fijians To Boost Series Leaders
Akuila Rokolisoa returns to the New Zealand 7s team for the Las Vegas and Vancouver tournaments. Photo: All Blacks TV

Series leaders New Zealand have put together a strong team for the Las Vegas and Vancouver tournaments.

The side include four Fijian play­ers of Jo Ravouvou, Vilimoni Ko­roi, Jona Nareki and Tavualevu native Akuila Rokolisoa.

In a surprise move coach Clark Laidlaw has named one potential debutant in the squad that is trav­elling to Las Vegas, 23-year-old Te Puoho Stephens from Tasman.

Injuries to forwards, Scott Curry, Dylan Collier, Amanaki Nicole and Luke Masirewa sees Stephens promoted to the All Blacks Sevens squad.

“Te Puoho Stephens is a non-contracted player that we have brought in to our group,” Laidlaw told All Blacks TV.

“He has had a good couple of years for Tasman at the national sevens and in our development programme this season so it is a great opportunity for him.”

Fresh from winning the Sydney Sevens, the New Zealand sit atop the World Series rankings on equal points with USA and Laidlaw said the next two weeks will be crucial for Olympic qualification hopes.

“We are really happy with how we’ve played but are realistic that there is a lot of rugby to come. These two weeks will have a big bearing on the top four, we need to put our heads down, roll up our sleeves and really push hard for those semi finals and finals again.”

This year marks the 10th Las Vegas Sevens tournament, where New Zealand have finished run­ners-up on five occasions and will be looking to go one better next weekend.

“Last year we were preparing for Commonwealth Games and didn’t have Las Vegas as a focus. This year we are going over slightly ear­ly to help with the time difference and to get settled so hopefully that can get us on the front foot and set us up for a good week of training,” said Laidlaw.

New Zealand 7s squad- Kurt Bak­er, Sam Dickson, Scott Gregory, Trael Joass, Vilimoni Koroi, Tim Mikkelson, Sione Molia, Jona Nareki, Joe Ravouvou, Akuila Rokolisoa, Tone Ng Shiu, Te Puoho Stephens, Regan Ware.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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