NZ Sevens side bolstered for home tournament

Last updated 17:58 31/01/2014

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Flying wing Waisake Naholo has been ruled out, but New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens has bolstered his ranks ahead of next weekend's Wellington Sevens.

Influential playmaker Tomasi Cama, speedsters Sherwin Stowers and Ben Lam and Auckland teenager Akira Ioane have all been included in a 14-strong squad to prepare for New Zealand's home leg of the IRB world series.

Tietjens will whittle the squad down to 12 for the tournament when he names his final team on Tuesday.

There is the potential for two new caps at Westpac Stadium with Northland forward Matt Moulds included for the first time and Ioane coming back into the side after a late visa application denied him a debut in Las Vegas.

Naholo, who was in fine form in the United States last week, is out with a leg injury, while forward Sam Dickson was not considered due to suspension.

David Raikuna is the only player to miss out on form from the 12 that lost 14-7 to South Africa in the final of the Las Vegas tournament.

Cama's return from injury is a big boost for a New Zealand side suddenly trailing South Africa in the series standings.

Ditto for Stowers and Lam, who add speed and size to a side looking for a way to combat a South African side that has had their number of late.

Manawatu's George Tilsley is deservedly retained after performing well in Vegas after a late callup for Ioane.

The New Zealand squad will assemble Wellington tomorrow.

New Zealand sevens squad to prepare for the Wellington leg of the IRB world series: Tomasi Cama, Scott Curry, Ambrose Curtis, DJ Forbes, Bryce Heem, Gillies Kaka, Akira Ioane, Mark Jackman, Ben Lam, Tim Mikkelson, Matt Moulds, Lote Raikabula, Sherwin Stowers, George Tilsley.

Not considered due to injury: Waisake Naholo, Declan O'Donnell, Joe Webber.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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