Tietjens eyes the Olympics

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 08:42
We're giving some new players an opportunity to show us what they can do

New Zealand Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens has named a 20-man squad to take part in the first training camp for the upcoming IRB Sevens World Series.

The Kiwi training camp takes place at Mt Maunganui from Monday, August 13, to Wednesday, August 15.

Tietjens said he was looking forward to getting underway again, particularly against the backdrop of the London Olympics.

"It's been a real thrill watching the Olympics knowing we will be there in four years' time in Rio," Tietjens said.

"The success of our athletes there has been really inspiring and I am sure their performances will be a great motivator for the players."

Players attending the camp include a mix of some from last year's champion World Series team and some who have yet to play for the All Blacks Sevens.

A number of players from last year were not considered because of injury and NPC commitments.

"We're giving some new players an opportunity to show us what they can do in a Sevens environment given the unavailability of some players from last year for the first two tournaments of the season in October."

The first tournament takes place on the Gold Coast on October 13 and 14, followed by the inaugural Argentinian tournament at La Plata on October 20 and 21.

New Zealand sevens squad: Jacob Ale (Waikato), Mark Atkins (Otago), Tomasi Cama (Manawatu), Sam Dickson (Canterbury), DJ Forbes (Counties Manukau), Willis Halaholo (Auckland), Kolio Hifo (Canterbury), Joe Hill (Wellington), Mark Jackman (Canterbury), Warwick Lahmert (Taranaki), Rhys Lewellyn (Canterbury), Tevita Li (North Harbour), Tim Mikkelson (Waikato), Kylem O'Donnell (Taranaki), Willie Paia'aua (Manawatu), Lote Raikabula (Wellington), Belgium Tuatagaloa (Wellington), Joe Tupe (Auckland), Gareth William-Spiers (Auckland), Jamie Verran (Canterbury).