New faces in NZ sevens squad

New Zealand sevens coach Gordon Tietjens has had to call on a number of new players for next month's first tournament of the 2012/13 Sevens World Series on the Gold Coast because of injury and unavailability.

Tietjens has named a squad of 15 players to attend a training camp in Mount Maunganui next week to prepare for Gold Coast. This will be trimmed to 12 when the team is named next week.

Two players from the last Sevens World Series, Toby Arnold and Scott Curry, were not considered because of injury.

"We have a good mix of some very experienced players and some up and coming young guys who I know will be working really hard next week to make the final team we take away," Tietjens said.

"It was always going to be difficult to pull together a squad at this time of year so we have had to call up a number of players who have yet to be tested in the sevens format at this level.

"These guys have got plenty to prove and, while they might not have a great depth of sevens experience, we know they will step up to the mark as it's always a great honour to get the chance to pull on the black jersey."

New Zealand sevens training squad: Tomasi Cama (Manawatu), Sam Dickson (Canterbury), DJ Forbes (Counties Manukau), Joe Hill (Wellington), Iopu Iopu (Auckland), Mark Jackman (Canterbury), Steve Ketu (Waikato), Warwick Lahmert (Taranaki), Rhys Llewellyn (Canterbury), Tim Mikkelson (Waikato), Kylem O'Donnell (Taranaki), Ben Paltridge (North Harbour), Lote Raikabula (Wellington), Belgium Tuatagaloa (Wellington), Jamie Verran (Canterbury).

- APNZ

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