The All Blacks Sevens team is;
1. Scott Curry – co-captain
2. Tim Mikkelson – co-capain
3. Tone Ng Shiu
4. Salesi Rayasi
5. Dylan Collier
6. Ngarohi McGarvey-Black
7. Sam Dickson
8. Andrew Knewstubb
9. Regan Ware
10. Kurt Baker
11. Joe Webber
12. Sione Molia
13. Akuila Rokolisoa (travelling reserve)
A long pre-season has the team well prepared for the season ahead, which culminates at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Coach Clark Laidlaw said the players are bursting at the seams to get out onto the field.
“I think the men are sick of hitting each other and training against each other. It will be good to get opposition that isn’t us and try a few things we have been working on over the pre-season.”
Salesi Rayasi returns to the All Blacks Sevens jersey after four tournaments last year, including the Rugby World Cup Sevens victory in San Francisco. He has since made his debut for the Hurricanes in Investec Super Rugby and has been nominated for the Duane Monkley Medal for his efforts for Auckland in the Mitre 10 Cup.
“It’s exciting to have Salesi back in the team, he fits in on and off the field. He’s really forced is way into selection because he is an x-factor player.”
The All Blacks Sevens will face Wales on Day One, with two remaining pool matches against Canada and Samoa on Day Two.
“All three matches will be tough, Wales have a new coach so we don’t know what to expect from them, Canada are one of the most experienced teams on the circuit and Samoa have assembled a strong squad and they always bring it to us,” said Laidlaw.
• The All Blacks Sevens have won the Dubai Sevens on six occasions (1999, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2018).
• This will be the 40th tournament for Kurt Baker, he debuted in Dubai in 2008.
• Andrew Knewstubb finished the 2018/19 season as top point scorer on the World Series.
• The ASB Rugby Awards are next week; Dylan Collier, Tone Ng Shiu and Andrew Knewstubb are all nominated for the Richard Crawshaw Memorial Trophy for Sevens Player of the Year. Salesi Rayasi is nominated for the Duane Monkley Medal for Mitre 10 Cup Player of the Year.
Schedule (dates and times in NZT)
Friday 6 December
2.28am v Wales
8.36pm v Canada
Saturday 7 December
2.28am v Samoa
Play offs – Saturday 7 December/Sunday 8 December
Watch the HSBC Dubai Sevens on Sky Sport 1
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 5-7 December, Dubai
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 13-15 December, Cape Town
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 25-26 January, Hamilton
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 1-2 February, Sydney
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 29 February – 1 March, Los Angeles
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 7-8 March, Vancouver
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 3-5 April, Hong Kong
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 11-12 April, Singapore
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 23-24 May, London
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 30-31 May, Paris
2020 Tokyo Olympics, 27-29 July, Tokyo