Three uncapped players join sevens squads

Moses

Rush, along with North Harbour’s Moses Leo and Waikato’s Manaia Nuku are the newcomers to the All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens squads, six months out from the Tokyo Olympics.


All three players impressed at December’s Red Bull Ignite7, Rush was named tournament MVP, Leo picked up the Players’ Player of the Tournament while Nuku was also nominated for the Players’ Player award.


Black Ferns Sevens Coaches Allan Bunting and Cory Sweeney bring Nuku into an established squad, with 20 of 21 players having international experience.


Nuku had an impressive 2020, the Hamilton Girls’ High School student made her Farah Palmer Cup debut for Waikato and captained the New Zealand Condor Schools sevens team at the World School Sevens in December. She replaces Kayla Ahki in the squad, who returned to France to be with her family last year.


She also joins Shiray Kaka, Tenika Willison, Terina Te Tamaki and Jazmin Hotham as Hamilton Girls’ High School alumni in the national team, making up a quarter of the full squad.


“Manaia is a smart young player with exciting talent. She has great instinct and a strong skill set so we are really looking forward to seeing her grow in our team,” said Sweeney.

All Blacks Sevens Coach Clark Laidlaw said Rush and Leo have the potential to be sevens specialists going forward.

“Brady comes from good pedigree of course; he is relaxed off the field but has a competitive edge on the field. Moses has real resilience; he has gone through some tough years with injuries, but he is a dynamic attacking player. They are both great men and have fit in straight away.”


Rush, made his Mitre 10 Cup debut for Northland in 2020 against Otago, while Moses Leo was involved in the North Harbour wider squad last season. They replace Jacob Ratumaituvuki-Kneepkens who has signed with the Blues and Joe Ravouvou who took a contract in France last year.


Vilimoni Koroi has joined the squad from the Highlanders, the inclusion of Sky Super Rugby players from other clubs will be finalised and announced in coming months.


The All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens are both training for their first competitions of the year, held in Tauranga next month.


The All Blacks Sevens will play a series of matches against Tonga and the Black Ferns Sevens team will play internal matches. Plans are underway for an Oceania tournament before the World Series events currently scheduled for London and Paris in May/June.

All Blacks Sevens squad

 

Black Ferns Sevens squad

Kurt Baker

Hawke's Bay

Shakira Baker

Waikato

Dylan Collier

Waikato

Michaela Blyde

Bay of Plenty

Scott Curry

Bay of Plenty

Kelly Brazier

Bay of Plenty

Sam Dickson

Bay of Plenty

Gayle Broughton

Taranaki

Trael Joass

Bay of Plenty

Dhys Faleafaga

Wellington

Andrew Knewstubb

Canterbury

Theresa Fitzpatrick

Auckland

Vilimoni Koroi

Otago

Stacey Fluhler

Waikato

Moses Leo

North Harbour

Sarah Hirini

Manawatu

Ngarohi McGarvey-Black

North Harbour

Jazmin Hotham

Waikato

Tim Mikkelson

Waikato

Shiray Kaka

Waikato

Sione Molia

Counties Manukau

Tyla Nathan-Wong

Northland

Tone Ng Shiu

Auckland

Manaia Nuku

Waikato

Amanaki Nicole

Southland

Mahina Paul

Bay of Plenty

Akuila Rokolisoa

Counties Manukau

Risaleeana Pouri-Lane

Bay of Plenty

Brady Rush

Northland

Cheyelle Robins-Reti

Waikato

Ollie Sapsford

Hawke's Bay

Alena Saili

Bay of Plenty

Kitiona Vai

Auckland

Terina Te Tamaki

Waikato

William Warbrick

Bay of Plenty

Ruby Tui

Counties Manukau

Regan Ware

Bay of Plenty

Niall Williams

Auckland

Joe Webber

Bay of Plenty

Tenika Willison

Waikato

   

Portia Woodman

Northland

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