When Bay of Plenty winger Regan Ware got his first taste of international sevens he never looked back to the 15-a-side format he had grown up playing.
Papamoa-based Ware is one of two Bay of Plenty sevens named in the All Blacks Sevens squad which leaves for San Francisco this weekend ahead of the knockout Rugby World Cup Sevens competition later this month.
He says because of the knockout format, it will be "do or die" for his side.
All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw said the unique nature of the competition contributed to it being a difficult squad to select.
"Getting the balance of the squad right was the main thing. It's a different tournament in that it's four games instead of six and we can only take 12 players, so we were looking to have flexibility in the 12 in terms of the positions they cover," Laidlaw said.
Despite that hurdle, Laidlaw said they were going in to the competition with a goal - to be the first team to win back-to-back world cup titles.
"No team has ever won back-to-back world cup titles since it's started so we have certainly talked about that and about being the first team to change that. We know there are massive challenges to come, all the teams will be really well prepared," said Laidlaw.
Ware - a Bay of Plenty winger - was hopeful of their chances in the competition saying they had been working hard in the lead up to the San Francisco tournament - one of their pinnacle events.
"We've been developing our game plan trying to seal it for this tournament, so hopefully the boys come away with the goods," Ware said.
He knew there would be no second chances with the knockout format which meant the team - made up of a good mix of new and experienced players - would have to step up at every match.
"it just means it's do-or-die every game," Ware said.
"So right from the first game we've got to put points on the board, we cant afford to slack off in any game because you know there are no second chances.
"Hopefully it's a positive tournament."
Ware, who debuted in international sevens in 2015/16 and had not looked back on the sport he was making his mark in, moving towards becoming a regular fixture.
"I think I've played sevens since high school, I'd always been a 15s boy." he said.
"I think it was 2015 I got a call up to play a pre-season tournament and pretty much everything just kicked off from then. I got another crack in Wellington, Sydney and then loved it ever since ... I've just stayed here, stuck with it."
He said the team had a good group of new and experienced players who would each give their best on the field when the time came and he was looking forward to the next tournament.
"We've sort of got to take our opportunities as they come and make sure we nail them on the spot because if we don't it will burn us, it will kill us in the long run in the tournament."
The All Blacks Sevens will play the winner of the Russia v Hong Kong in their first match on Saturday July 21, with kick off at 3.31pm NZT.