Tietjens keeps the core

Wed, 11 Sep 2013 11:01
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It is a time when we rebuild

All Black coach Gordon Tietjens has named the training squad to prepare for the Gold Coast Sevens, the opening round of the 2013/13 IRB World Series.

The first tournament of the World Series takes place at Skilled Park, Gold Coast, October 12 and 13.

The final team of 12 will be named after a training camp in Mount Maunganui in early October.

The squad includes a core of 13 players who were part of the successful All Black Sevens team that won the 2012/13 Sevens World Series and World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow.

A number of players were unavailable after choosing to focus on fifteens.

This includes Kurt Baker, who has signed with the Highlanders.

Ben Lam was also unavailable as he continues to recover from injury.

Tietjens said the squad was a pleasing mix of experience and exciting new talent.

"The start of any season is a time when we rebuild, but I am really happy to have a core group of players who have served the team well over the last season so we start from a great base," the coach said.

"I have also brought into the squad a number of young players who have caught my eye and this will be a good opportunity for them to get a feel for our training environment and work hard for possible selection.

"We are really excited about the season ahead, building up to the Commonwealth Games next July so it will be great to get back on the pitch again and get our preparations firmly underway."
The squad assembles in Mount Maunganui on Monday, September 30.
New Zealand: Tomasi Cama, Scott Curry, Ambrose Curtis, Sam Dickson, DJ Forbes, Sam Gavigan, Kali Hala, Mark Jackman, Gillies Kaka, Rocky Khan, Luke Masiwera, Tim Mikkelson, Kara Pryor, Lote Raikabula, Sherwin Stowers, Rob Thompson, Belgium Tuatagaloa, Joe Webber, Gareth Williams-Spiers.