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Two newcomers in All Blacks Sevens squad

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/02/2017

Uncapped pair Trael Joass and Andrew Knewstubb have been included in an All Blacks Sevens team chasing improvement at the Sydney leg of the world series.

The Tasman duo replace Isaac Te Tamaki and Tone Ng Shiu in the squad which placed sixth in Wellington last week, having been beaten in the quarter-finals by Fiji.

Coach Scott Waldrom says the pair warrant selection following stand-out performances at the national championships.

Waldrom and co-coach Tomasi Cama have been busy working on how the 12-time series champions can improve their stocks. They are fifth after three rounds of the 10-leg series, with South Africa and Fiji threatening to break clear.

"We learned a lot from Wellington and continue to work on what's required to win in what has become a very tough world series," he said.

"Last weekend showed us that if you make a few mistakes you will be punished by the opposition and we can't afford that this weekend with another tough pool."

Waldrom expects hosts Australia to be hard to beat on home soil in their opening match on Saturday before face Papua New Guinea and a Scotland side exceeding expectations in fourth place.

All Blacks Sevens: Scott Curry (capt), Dylan Collier, DJ Forbes, Iopu Iopu-Aso, Trael Joass, Rocky Khan, Andrew Knewstubb, Vilimoni Koroi, Tim Mikkelson, Sione Molia, Sherwin Stowers, Regan Ware.

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