All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens set to return to Dubai

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In an important year, where teams are vying for Olympic qualification points, the teams will be eyeing top performances this weekend.

A favourite stop on the World Series for both teams, covid restrictions meant the All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens have missed the past two iterations of the tournament, having previously both been crowned champions the last time they visited back in 2019.

The Black Ferns Sevens have spent the week acclimatising in Abu Dhabi taking a squad of 14 for the trip which continues on to the Cape Town Sevens next week, while the All Blacks Sevens flew to Dubai over the weekend.

For the women, it’s the opening tournament of the season, where they will be without several familiar faces as those who recently won the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand take leave.

Experienced players Tyla Nathan-Wong, Niall Williams, Michaela Blyde and Kelly Brazier will be among those tasked with leading the side which features potential World Series debutants in Kelsey Teneti, Tysha Ikenasio, Manaia Nuku and Jorja Miller.

The latter made her debut at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in September while Teneti debuted for the Black Ferns in the longer form of the game against Australia back in June. Ikenasio and Nuku would be making their black jersey debut should they be selected in the next two weeks.

The All Blacks Sevens kicked off their Olympic qualification year in Hong Kong earlier this month and missed out on the quarter finals after a tough pool assignment.

They too have a potential debutant in their ranks with young Waikato star Tepaea Cook-Savage in the travelling group, both Dylan Collier and Ngarohi McGarvey-Black have remained in New Zealand on leave.

Both teams will be in action on Friday night, we the selected teams to be announced that morning.

Black Ferns Sevens travelling squad is: Michaela Blyde, Kelly Brazier,  Jazmin Felix-Hotham, Tysha Ikenasio, Shiray Kaka, Jorja Miller, Tyla Nathan-Wong, Manaia Nuku, Mahina Paul, Risi Pouri-Lane, Terina Te Tamaki, Kelsey Teneti, Niall Williams and Tenika Willison

All Blacks Sevens travelling squad is: Kurt Baker, Leroy Carter, Che Clark, Tepaea Cook-Savage, Sam Dickson, Moses Leo, Tone Ng Shiu, Amanaki Nicole, Lewis Ormond, Akuila Rokolisoa, Brady Rush, Caleb Tangitau, Regan Ware and Joe Webber


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