HSBC Sevens World Series
New Zealand look to finish on top at Gold Coast
October 11, 2013
New Zealand's Sherwin Stowers celebrates victory with Kurt Baker, New Zealand v Australia, Rugby Sevens final, Commonwealth Games, Delhi University, Delhi, India, October 12, 2010
Sherwin Stowers will be hoping to celebrate a Cup final win at the Gold Coast Sevens for the first time © Getty Images

New Zealand want to take an extra step when they contest the first leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series on Queensland's Gold Coast this weekend. Coach Gordon Tietjens has selected an experienced team for the 16-nation tournament, at the Skilled Park venue which holds mixed memories for them since it was introduced to the series two years ago.

Gold Coast Sevens Draw

  • Pool A: New Zealand, Kenya, United States, Tonga
  • Pool B: South Africa, England, France, Spain
  • Pool C: Fiji, Wales, Canada, Portugal
  • Pool D: Samoa, Australia, Argentina, Scotland

Both tournaments there have seen New Zealand reach the final but then lose heavily to Fiji. That record has become symptomatic of Tietjens' team, who reached the final in seven of nine tournaments on the way to winning last year's series but only won two of them.

Winger Sherwin Stowers says that record isn't weighing the team down this week although he suspects Tietjens will be doing his utmost to ensure the recent trend ends. "This a new series and it is important for us to start with a bang and hopefully go one better this year. Nothing changes for us in terms of preparation and we trust our coach. He is the best coach in the world and he knows the game in and out."

New Zealand are without the injured Gillies Kaka this week but the team led by captain DJ Forbes is otherwise similar to the outfit who won the World Cup and secured an 11th series crown in 14 attempts earlier this year.

HSBC Sevens World Series 2013-2014
Round 1 Australia (Gold Coast) October 12-13, 2013
Round 2 Dubai November 29-30, 2013
Round 3 South Africa (Port Elizabeth) December 7-8, 2013
Round 4 USA (Las Vegas) January 24-26, 2014
Round 5 New Zealand (Wellington) February 7-8, 2014
Round 6 Japan (Tokyo) March 22-23, 2014
Round 7 Hong Kong March 28-30, 2014
Round 8 Scotland (Glasgow) May 3-4, 2014
Round 9 England (London) May 10-11, 2014


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