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All Blacks Sevens nearing full strength

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/04/2017
Joe Webber in action for the All Black Sevens. © Getty Images Joe Webber in action for the All Black Sevens.

New Zealand will take a bolstered squad to the Hong Kong Sevens as they seek a breakthrough win on this year's world series.

The All Blacks Sevens are fourth heading into the seventh leg of the 10-round series this weekend, well adrift of runaway leaders South Africa.

Coach Scott Waldrom's team are yet to even reach a final this season but he believes their chances have improved following some positive news on the injury front.

Influential forward Sam Dickson is available and has been named as a travelling reserve while speedster Regan Ware is recalled.

Auckland's Joe Ravouvou has been included and will make his world series debut.

Contracted All Blacks Sevens players Lewis Ormond, Tone Ng Shiu, Teddy Stanaway and Joe Webber have been named to play the preceding Hong Kongs 10s tournament this week.

"Having these guys return has brought an edge to training these past few weeks and I expect that to carry on into this weekend's sevens tournament," Waldrom said.

"Hong Kong is the holy grail of sevens tournaments and brings out the best in teams so we are excited about the challenges ahead and believe we have the ability to do well if we get the basics right."

New Zealand face testing pool matches again Olympic champions Fiji, Wales and Japan.

Fiji have been crowned Hong Kong champions 16 times. New Zealand are second on the list with 11 while South Africa are yet to win there in the tournament's 41 editions.

All Blacks Sevens: Scott Curry (capt), Dylan Collier, DJ Forbes, Iopu Iopu-Aso, Trael Joass, Vilimoni Koroi, Tim Mikkelson, Sione Molia, Joe Ravouvou, Isaac Te Tamaki, Beaudein Waaka, Regan Ware.

Thirteenth player: Andrew Knewstubb. Travelling reserve: Sam Dickson.

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