New Zealand Sevens Coach Gordon Tietjens has named four new caps in his 2012 national contracted squad of 15 who are preparing for next weekend’s Hertz Sevens tournament in Wellington.
Wellington’s 18-year-old Ardie Savea, the younger brother of Hurricane and former New Zealand Sevens player Julian Savea, has been named in Tietjens’ squad for the first time. Savea was nominated for the New Zealand Rugby Union Age Grade Player of the Year at last year’s Steinlager Rugby Awards and he also captained the New Zealand Schools side in the same year.
Other new caps include Hawke’s Bay’s Mark Jackman, Taranaki’s Waisake Naholo and 19-year-old Lolagi Visina from Auckland.
The squad includes plenty of experience with senior players Lote Raikabula, captain DJ Forbes and playmaker Tomasi Cama all heading into their seventh season with the side.
Titejens said his squad had a good mix of youth and experience.
“DJ, Lote and Tomasi have played in over 40 tournaments and there are quite a few players in this squad that travelled to every tournament in the Series last year which gives them invaluable experience to pass down to the younger players.
“There are some young players in this squad showing great promise which bodes well for the future as we head towards the 2016 Olympics,” he said.
Meanwhile, new Highlander and All Blacks winger Hosea Gear will join the New Zealand Sevens squad in Wellington on Friday. Gear has made himself available for selection for the Hertz Sevens and will be released by the Highlanders for the tournament should he be selected.
The New Zealand Sevens team will be holding a public training session at Porirua Park this Saturday 28 January at 10.00am. Members of the public are invited along to view the training session and players will be available to meet and greet fans.