Rugby sevens: The chosen 12

New Zealand sevens coach Gordon Tietjens says four players were unavailable through injury when he named his squad of 12 for this weekend's leg of the international series in Wellington.

Injury ruled out Scott Curry, Mark Jackman, Toby Arnold and Milford Keresoma for the tournament, which is also a popular event on the social calendar in Wellington.

Tietjens said his squad was tough to select given the competition within the wider squad and the improving form of his young tyros.

"The squad has worked really hard coming into Wellington and it's always a pretty special tournament for the players, but as is always the case we have had to make some hard decisions," Tietjens said.

"We have got a lot to build on given our good start to the season and I know the guys are really excited about playing in front of a home crowd. We won last year in Wellington so it would be fantastic to back up last year's victory.

"But we will have to work hard. The competition is getting tougher every year and our competitors will be looking to make up ground on us here so it will be a challenging two days."

New Zealand lead the international series after three tournaments. This weekend's event starts on Friday with the finals to be played on Saturday.

New Zealand squad: Kurt Baker (Taranaki), Tomasi Cama (Manawatu), Sam Dickson (Canterbury), DJ Forbes (captain, Counties Manukau), Gillies Kaka (Hawkes Bay), Rocky Khan (Auckland), Ben Lam (Auckland), Luke Masirewa (Waikato), Tim Mikkelson (Waikato), Lote Raikabula (Wellington), David Raikuna (North Harbour), Belgium Tuatagaloa (Canterbury)

- APNZ

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