Kiwis opt for two captains

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 10:31
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SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Coach Clark Laidlaw has announced Scott Curry and Tim Mikkelson will co-captain the New Zealand Sevens team.

He made the announcement on the eve of the 2017/2018 World Series season.

They will also captain the side at the Commonwealth Games.

"It would be tough to captain on your own over such a long season as it's impossible for a player to play every minute of every match in a sevens season so we feel doubling up helps our group,"Laidlaw said.

"The way they are working together and getting the best out of men and the environment is exciting. Having Scott and Tim will grow our leadership on and off the field."

Laidlaw has selected 14 players to travel, all with previous Sevens World Series experience.

"We wanted to pick as many players that have been with us throughout the pre-season as possible. They have the best understanding of what we are trying to do and deserve this first opportunity.

"What is exciting is knowing that the six or so players staying behind, will be working hard to get up to speed and that will make it tough to pick squads for the tournaments ahead."

The All Black Sevens finished runners-up at the Oceania Sevens Championship earlier this month and Laidlaw said the tournament was a great opportunity to get some key learnings.

"On the field, there was some good stuff and also areas that need improvement, so we have reflected on that and what we need to add into our game.

"The massive positive was around the values and vision that we have as a group. We are excited about what the players have done off the field and the foundation that has been set."

The New Zealanders kick off the Dubai tournament, the opening round of the World Series, playing Samoa - followed by pool matches against Argentina and the United States.

Laidlaw said the focus is firmly on preparing for the first match.

"We are not looking any further than that. We want to prepare well, if we get that right it should give us the clarity to play well in game one."

New Zealand squad: Dylan Collier, Scott Curry, Sam Dickson, Tim Mikkelson, Tone Ng Shiu, Teddy Stanaway, Kurt Baker, Andrew Knewstubb, Vilimoni Koroi, Sione Molia, Joe Ravouvou, Issac Te Tamaki, Regan Ware, Joe Webber.

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