A new group of All Blacks Sevens players get their chance to impress in Hong Kong early next month with the Commonwealth Games team on the Gold Coast.

The team for the Hong Kong Sevens features seven debutants including Bailey Simonsson who, along with Luke Masirewa, gives Bay of Plenty two more players on the international stage.

Simonsson has been training with the main squad all summer but has not had the chance to show his speed and talent in match situations.

Hong Kong cannot come quick enough for him with a pool play match-up with Fiji to look forward to.


"I am looking forward to it. Obviously, you train to play so getting the opportunity to play is very exciting for me and my family. I am looking to take the opportunity with both hands and do my best," Simonsson said.

"I don't know too much about Hong Kong but from the stories I have heard it is really New Zealand and Fiji-orientated so for us, it is exciting to go there and play Fiji. It is good to test ourselves against the best in the world at the best stadium in the world too."

Masirewa has played in Hong Kong before and loves the special nature of the sevens tournament there.

"It is probably the atmosphere there. You get people coming from all over the world into that one place and they are there to watch sevens and have a good time.

"I see this as a good opportunity to get some minutes under the belt. The last couple of tournaments, I have been coming on in the last few minutes. This is a good opportunity for me to stand up and show a bit of leadership and it is a good opportunity for the other boys too."

Simonsson said despite having a weakened team they are going to Hong Kong to win the tournament with a full-strength Fiji a major challenge.

"I wouldn't want it any other way other than against their best players. For us going there, we are not going to roll over, we are going there to win the cup so we will be sticking it to them for sure."

Coach Roger Randle said the team have been training well together and are looking forward to getting to Hong Kong.


"We've named a strong team for Hong Kong. For a number of these guys, it will be the first time they pull on a black jersey and to do that at the Hong Kong Sevens will be an incredible moment for them.

"We come up against Fiji, Samoa and Russia in pool play which is a tough assignment but we are confident in the group we have selected," Randle said.

The squad features six players with World Series experience alongside seven debutants. Amanaki Nicole, Jona Nareki and Simonsson are fully contracted with the All Blacks Sevens team while Salesi Rayasi, Dan Schrijvers, Akuila Rokolisoa and Tima Faingaanuku have been involved in training camps over the past three months.

Both Nareki and Faingaanuku played in the New Zealand Under 20s in 2017, while Rayasi previously played in the New Zealand development sevens team.

The Hong Kong Sevens kicks off on April 6.

All Blacks Sevens squad:
Jordan Bunce (Waikato), Tima Faingaanuku* (Tasman), Rocky Khan (Auckland), Luke Masirewa (Bay of Plenty), Etene Nanai-Seturo (Counties Manukau), Jona Nareki* (Otago), Tone Ng Shiu (Tasman), Amanaki Nicole* (Canterbury), Joe Ravouvou (Auckland), Salesi Rayasi* (Auckland), Akuila Rokolisoa* (Counties Manukau), Dan Schrijvers* (Wellington), Bailey Simonsson* (Bay of Plenty)
(* denotes debut)