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Gear set for Sevens bid

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Sportal.co.nz     28 Jan 2012     Getty Images

Gear joined the 15-strong sevens group in Wellington on Friday as they prepare for the fourth leg of the World Sevens Series in the capital next weekend.

"I spoke to him [Joseph] before we signed up and he was more than happy," explained Gear.

"He actually thought it would be beneficial for me to join the sevens and get some training under my belt and then come back to the Highlanders environment fitter and fresher and a bit more excited."

Gear last played for Tietjens at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and credited his time in the sevens environment with his resurgence in form, particularly for the All Blacks on that year's end-of-year tour.

And the 27-year-old is hoping for a repeat of that success this time round as he looks to regain his place in Steve Hansen's squad.

"I benefit quite a lot from Titch's sessions and I did that year with the Commonwealth Games," said the winger. "I'm looking to do the same. I learned a lot from that tournament.

"I am still looking to try and better myself as a player. I have always wanted to play in the Wellington Sevens tournament so I think it's a great opportunity to put my hand up and make myself available."

Gear has not been guaranteed selection for next weekend's tournament. He will take part in the Mount Maunganui Sevens on Sunday - effectively a trial - and knows he faces some stiff competition if he is to line up alongside regulars DJ Forbes, Lote Raikabula and playmaker Tomasi Cama at Westpac Stadium next Friday.

"It's going to be real hard. Just watching the latest national sevens some of the young players coming through and you have already got that core group of senior players," said Gear, who has been tagging his extra sevens conditioning sessions onto his Highlanders pre-season work.

"I'm here just to try and put my hand up and try and better myself as a player. Even if I don't get selected I will still gain a lot out of the training camp.

"[But] I've been a spectator there three times. It will be pretty cool to play in front of [that crowd]. You hear from the sevens guys it's the best tournament on the circuit. So to be part of that would be pretty cool."