Tietjens names NZ sevens trial squad

New Zealand Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens today named a squad of 24 for a four-day trial camp, starting at Mt Maunganui tomorrow.

The camp is the first of two before the New Zealand Sevens squad of 12 is selected for the opening tournaments of the 2007/2008 IRB Sevens World Series, to be played in Dubai and South Africa in December.

The camp will be the first assembly since the New Zealand Sevens team was named IRB Sevens Team of the Year at the recent IRB Awards.

The training squad includes Afeleke Pelenise, who was also named 2007 IRB Sevens Player of the Year, and fellow nominee DJ Forbes. Also included is 2007 New Zealand Under 19 representative Israel Dagg as well as 2006 national Under 19 players Armyn Sanders and captain Victor Vito.

Other newcomers include Daniel Crichton, Jayden Hayward, Karne Hesketh, Nathan Hohaia, James Kamana, Chris Small, Alex Tulou and Albert Vulivuli.

Tietjens said he had watched all the players during the Air New Zealand Cup and other competitions and they all deserved a chance to push for national selection.

"This camp will be their introduction to the national Sevens environment but I am sure that they will adapt quickly."

New Zealand Sevens 2007 players Scott Waldrom and Adam Thomson will not be attending the trial because of their recent Air New Zealand Cup commitments.

Other 2007 squad members Charles Baxter, Aden Dewes, Jarek Goebel and Willie Rickards will be absent because of injury.

New Zealand Sevens trial squad: Tomasi Cama (Manawatu), Edwin Cocker (Auckland), Daniel Crichton (Counties Manukau), Israel Dagg (Hawke's Bay), DJ Forbes (Auckland), Jayden Hayward (Taranaki), Karne Hesketh (Otago), Nathan Hoha ia (Taranaki), Jason Hona (Bay of Plenty), Nigel Hunt (Wellington), Tafai Ioasa (Hawke's Bay), James Kamana (Waikato), Solomon King (Bay of Plenty), Zar Lawrence (North Harbour), Afeleke Pelenise (Tasman), Lote Raikabula (Hawke's Bay), Rene Ranger (Northland), Armyn Sanders (Waikato), Chris Small (Canterbury), Nick Thomson (Canterbury), Alex Tulou (Wellington), Albert Vulivuli (Waikato), Victor Vito (Wellington) and Steven Yates (Canterbury).

- NZPA