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Olympic Sevens Preview: Men

World Rugby

allblacks.com     05 Aug 2016     World Rugby

Sir Gordon Tietjen’s side begin their campaign against Japan early on Wednesday morning (NZT) before facing Great Britain and Kenya in a challenging pool phase. 

From there it will be onto a straight knockout round to decide who will stand on the podium at Deodoro Stadium in Rio.

QUICK TAP: OLYMPIC SEVENS WOMEN'S PREVIEW

FORMAT
Each day's action is split into two sessions with six matches involving all 12 teams taking place during each session of the early stages. The final session on day three will include four matches and the medal ceremony as the identity of rugby's first Olympic champions for 92 years will finally be known.
INJURY WARD
New Zealand suffered a big injury blow on the eve of the Olympics with game breaker Teddy Stanaway ruled out with a fractured hand suffered in warm up play against USA in Florida. Travelling reserve Lewis Ormond has come into the squad as a replacement for Stanaway while Rugby World Cup winner Liam Messam has joined Sione Molia as a travelling reserve in Rio.

BIGGEST THREATS

In pool play, New Zealand will be wary of both Kenya and Great Britain. Kenya showed on the Sevens World Series this year they are capable of beating anyone when they took out the Singapore Sevens. Great Britain are the great unknown at the Olympics. A combination of the best players from England, Scotland and Wales, Great Britain will bring an element of surprise to the Games. Outside of New Zealand’s pool, the teams to watch will be Fiji and South Africa who came first and second respectively in the Sevens World Series this year.
SIR GORDON SAYS
“It’s exciting to be here in the Olympic Village. A lot of the players have competed in the Commonwealth Games before but to be here and see the scale of the biggest sporting event in the world is on a whole other level. I visited the Stadium when I got to Rio and was very impressed with the way it has been set up. I can imagine it will provide a wonderful atmosphere once the Games begin.

SQUAD
Scott Curry (captain) (Bay of Plenty)
Sam Dickson (Canterbury)
DJ Forbes (Counties Manukau)
Akira Ioane (Auckland)
Rieko Ioane (Auckland)
Gillies Kaka (Hawke’s Bay)
Tim Mikkelson (Waikato)
Augustine Pulu (Counties Manukau)
Lewis Ormond (Taranaki)
Regan Ware (Bay of Plenty)
Joe Webber (Bay of Plenty)
Sonny Bill Williams (Counties Manukau)

Travelling reserves; Sione Molia (Counties Manukau), Liam Messam (Waikato)

POOLS
Pool A: Fiji, USA, Argentina, Brazil
Pool B: South Africa, Australia, France, Spain
Pool C: New Zealand, Great Britain, Kenya, Japan

SCHEDULE:

Game one v Japan at 3.30am Wednesday 10 August NZT (12.30pm Tuesday 9 August local time)
Game two v Kenya at 8.30am Wednesday 10 August NZT (5.30pm Tuesday 9 August local time)
Game three v Great Britain at 3.30am Thursday 11 August NZT (12.30pm Wednesday 10 August local time)

Finals TBC on Friday 12 August NZT

FOLLOW
Follow the New Zealand Sevens team on twitterfacebook and instagram to keep up with the action from Rio.