Rugby Sevens teams named for Commonwealth Games

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Surrounded by whanau and support staff, the players celebrated their selection for the first of two major pinnacle events for sevens in 2022. 
 


New Zealand Women’s Rugby Sevens team 

  • Michaela Blyde 
  • Kelly Brazier 
  • Theresa Fitzpatrick 
  • Sarah Hirini (c)
  • Stacey Fluhler 
  • Jazmin Hotham 
  • Shiray Kaka 
  • Tyla Nathan-Wong 
  • Risaleaana Pouri-Lane 
  • Alena Saili 
  • Niall Williams 
  • Tenika Willison 
  • Portia Woodman 

 

Travelling reserves: Terina Te Tamaki and Mahina Paul 
Non-travelling reserves: Shakira Baker, Ruby Tui, Manaia Nuku, Tysha Ikenasio
 


New Zealand Men’s Rugby Sevens team 

  • Leroy Carter 
  • Che Clark 
  • Dylan Collier (vc) 
  • Scott Curry 
  • Sam Dickson © 
  • Moses Leo 
  • Ngarohi McGarvey-Black 
  • Sione Molia 
  • Tone Ng Shiu 
  • Akuila Rokolisoa 
  • Caleb Tangitau 
  • Regan Ware 
  • Joe Webber (vc) 

 

Travelling reserves: Amanaki Nicole, Roderick Solo 
Non-travelling reserves: Brady Rush, Kurt Baker, Trael Joass, Tim Mikkelson
 


Women’s Team:
 
Head Coach Cory Sweeney has named an incredibly experienced and settled side for the Birmingham Games. 
 


Eleven of the players named were part of the first ever gold medal winning women’s rugby sevens team on the Gold Coast four years ago. 
 


Jazmin Hotham will play at her first pinnacle event, having been a travelling reserve in Tokyo, the remainder of the squad have all played at least one Olympic Games. 


 
“It is great to have experience in the side and that is balanced with some young players who have been getting more exposure this year and really impressed,” said Head Coach Cory Sweeney. 


 
The side has had their fair share of dramatic victories, with extra-time wins in the 2018 Commonwealth Games Final against Australia and the Olympic semi-final against Fiji last year. 
 


“We know small moments win games but sometimes those small moments take a little longer to come! Knowing that these players have that trust in each other is important; we’ve been there before and that gives us confidence that we have the ability to come out on top.” 
 


The team will continue training at their Mt Maunganui base before departing for a pre-Games camp in Scotland next weekend. 
 


Men’s Team:
 
Eight players from last year’s silver medal-winning Olympics team are selected for Birmingham, joined by a number of fresh faces to the international sevens scene. 
 


Sam Dickson, who missed last year’s Olympic Games through injury, will captain the side, and is ably supported by vice captains, Dylan Collier and Joe Webber. For Dickson and Scott Curry, Birmingham will be their third Commonwealth Games appearance.  
 


“We went into this year with an open mind in terms of looking at players in training and across all the tournaments we’ve played. Several our younger players really forced their way into contention with their performances,” said Head Coach Clark Laidlaw. 
 


Teenagers Caleb Tangitau and Che Clark are two such players. Tangitau lit up the World Series in 2022 with 17 tries across four tournaments, while Clark is yet to make his World Series debut but was a standout performer at last weekend’s Oceania Sevens. 
 


“The youth, excitement and energy they will bring, alongside our experienced players is a nice balance. We have these experienced players who are at the top of their game which means our younger players can come in and really express themselves,” said Laidlaw. 
 


For Joe Webber and Ngarohi McGarvey-Black, the excitement of selection will be heightened after both being named for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games but being forced to withdraw through injury. 
 


The team will continue training at their Mt Maunganui base before departing for a pre-Games camp in Scotland next weekend. 
 

 
New Zealand Rugby Head of High Performance, Mike Anthony congratulated the athletes selected to attend the games. 
 


“We know New Zealand has a proud history in rugby sevens in the Commonwealth Games and that it is a special event on calendar for our players and for fans of the game.”
 


“Birmingham is the first of two pinnacle events our teams have on the calendar this year, so we know all the players will be excited to get out there, put on a good performance and really inspire all those watching back at home. 


“On behalf of New Zealand Rugby, I would like to congratulate Cory (Sweeney), Clark (Laidlaw), team management and all our sevens players for their efforts in getting to this point.” 
 


NZOC CEO Nicki Nicol extended her congratulations to the athletes and New Zealand Rugby.


“Well done to all of those named today. Rugby Sevens is always one of the Games highlights and we can’t wait to see you earn the fern and compete in Birmingham in a months’ time,” said Nicol.


The Rugby Sevens competition at Birmingham 2022 will begin on July 29th.

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