New Zealand sevens hopeful Gareth Williams-Spiers plans to push for a place at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The Stags wing will play against Bay of Plenty in Tauranga tonight, but he also has ambitions in the shortened form of the game.
Williams-Spiers, 23, played for Sir Gordon Tietjens at a World Cup sevens tournament on the Gold Coast last season and has been included in a wider-training squad to prepare for the same tournament later this month.
If the Auckland import does earn selection in Tietjens' 12-man squad, he would miss Southland's final round robin game against Counties Manukau.
Pushing his claim for national sevens honours is a priority for Williams-Spiers.
"It's a bit of a bummer that it clashes with the Stags' season, but I've got to take my opportunities. I'll be going fullbore for a spot in the team for the Gold Coast," he said.
"I think last time when I got in the [New Zealand] team it was a bit premature almost, I wasn't really ready for it. I was there nonetheless and I did my best, but this time I'll be better prepared and I'll know this time what I need to make my chances a lot higher than last time."
Williams-Spiers was in his first season of playing sevens when he was noticed by Tietjens and included in the national programme.
He wasn't selected for Auckland and was included in the Southland team as a draft player at January's national finals in Queenstown.
From there he was selected in a New Zealand emerging players team which travelled to Fiji, although he picked up shoulder and thumb injuries that sidelined him for nine weeks.
Williams-Spiers has been starved for chances to show his pace for Southland this season, but said it was up to him to go looking for more opportunities.
Despite having won only one of their first five games, the Stags could climb as high as third in the NPC championship - albeit briefly - with a win over Bay of Plenty tonight.
Stags coach David Henderson said the team was keen to atone for last Friday's 27-17 loss to Manawatu.
"We let ourselves down in our physicality and the contact area was probably one of the key areas in the game where they got the better of us. We thought we were building nicely from Taranaki to Waikato and we took a backward step," Henderson said.
"We've been talking all year about finishing off opportunities in the 22 and it's still a work-on."
Bay of Plenty possessed plenty of threats, Henderson said.
"They like to get the gainline with their forwards and they are physical. If we allow them to do what Manawatu did to us then we'll be in the same boat again. It's a matter of dominating that gainline."
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