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Curtis added to All Blacks Sevens squad

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/02/2017

New Zealand have recalled Manawatu winger Ambrose Curtis for the Las Vegas tournament as they seek to break their sevens world series drought.

Curtis was an All Blacks Sevens regular for two seasons up until 2015 but concentrated on the 15-a-side game last year, winning selection for the Maori All Blacks and a place in the Blues training squad.

The 24-year-old replaces Regan Ware in the squad who placed third at the most recent tournament, in Sydney three weeks ago.

Rocky Khan is also missing from that squad, having joined Joe Webber, Sam Dickson, Lewis Ormond and Teddy Stanaway on a substantial injury list.

Contracted trio Tone Ng Shiu, Isaac Te Tamaki and Beaudein Waaka are included in an expanded squad of 14.

Coach Scott Waldrom is relieved he wasn't forced into any other changes to a group which will also contest the sixth round in Vancouver a week later.

"It's great to have a largely settled squad to take to North America," he said.

"The players who debuted in the Wellington and Sydney tournaments have impressed this far, so it's good to keep giving them game time and experience."

New Zealand have failed to reach the final at the last seven world series tournaments.

Waldrom was buoyed by the Sydney effort, coming a week after bombing out in the quarter-finals of their home tournament.

Two players will be trimmed closer to the three-day tournament starting on March 3, where New Zealand's pool opponents are Kenya, Russia and Argentina.

NZ squad: Scott Curry (capt), Dylan Collier, Ambrose Curtis, DJ Forbes, Iopu Iopu-Aso, Trael Joass, Andrew Knewstubb, Vilimoni Koroi, Tim Mikkelson, Sione Molia, Tone Ng Shiu, Sherwin Stowers, Isaac Te Tamaki, Beaudein Waaka.

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