IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens
New Zealand target Sevens doubles
June 7, 2013
New Zealand's DJ Forbes stretches the Scotland defence, South Africa Sevens, HSBC Sevens World Series, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, December 8
DJ Forbes will lead the New Zealand charge in Russia © IRB

New Zealand coach Sir Gordon Tietjens believes he has the team to win the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens for the first time since 2001, when they defeated Australia in the final in Argentina.

Tietjens said in naming his 12-strong squad for the Moscow tournament that he had an exciting mix of experience and young blood in the team led by DJ Forbes, Tomasi Cama and Lote Raikabula, who took part in the previous World Cup in Dubai in 2009.

New Zealand Women's Sevens coach Sean Horan, meanwhile, named in-form players in his squad, with Alexis Tapsell of Canterbury and Manawatu's Vaine Greig selected after strong performances in their first world series tournament victory in Amsterdam. The team is also boosted by the return of Selica Winiata, but Ruby Tui, Shakira Baker and Carla Hohepa were unavailable through injury.

"We've chosen our form players, and included some young talent that we need to develop at this level to ensure we have continued growth and strength in our team," Horan said. "I am sure all these girls will want to make the most of any opportunity they get to represent the black jersey."

Horan expects tough competition in Moscow, despite New Zealand's impressive effort in winning the inaugural four-tournament world series. "We know that teams throw everything at New Zealand when it comes to rugby, but our preparation over the past two years has been deliberate and we're happy in terms of development."

Tietjens, meanwhile, says his men's team was well tested in the 2012-2013 HSBC Sevens World Series it won from South Africa and Fiji. "We tested a group of young, exciting players so it's really pleasing to include a number of them in the team," he said. "A World Cup is something completely different, so they know they are in for a real test. The good thing is we have a core of players who know well the pressure cooker environment of a World Cup, so that will certainly help the younger players cope with the challenges in Moscow."

New Zealand: Kurt Baker, Tomasi Cama, Scott Curry, Sam Dickson, DJ Forbes, Bryce Heem, Gillies Kaka, Tim Mikkelson, Waisake Naholo, Lote Raikabula, David Raikuna, Sherwin Stowers.

New Zealand Women: Kelly Brazier, Sarah Goss, Vaine Greig, Honey Hireme, Linda Itunu, Huriana Manuel, Kayla McAlister, Tyla Nathan-Wong, Alexis Tapsell, Selica Winiata, Renee Wickliffe, Portia Woodman.


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