The All Blacks Sevens were ravaged by injuries at the end of last year, but with the majority of the squad fit and firing in 2019, coach Clark Laidlaw had his work cut out for him selecting a team to play at the HSBC New Zealand Sevens.

The team will be looking to back-up an overwhelmingly successful 2018 when they take to the field in Hamilton next weekend.

Laidlaw said the team had entered the New Year refreshed and there had been an edge at training as they built towards the third leg of the HSBC World Series.

"Obviously we picked up some injuries through Dubai and Cape Town so to have those guys back fit, healthy and available for selection for a home tournament is encouraging.

Advertisement

"We're as close to full strength as you can get and we're really excited about putting that squad on the field. There are a few guys who haven't played much rugby since the World Cup so we need to train right and get into day one well prepared and hopefully build through the tournament as we go."

Tim Mikkelson returns to play at his home stadium after missing the opening two legs of the Series due to the birth of his first child and will co-captain with Rotorua's Scott Curry.

Joe Ravouvou is also set to don the black jersey for the first time since his blockbusting World Cup campaign last July, having gained New Zealand citizenship to make him eligible for the World Series.

Laidlaw said with only the one home tournament a year, the All Blacks Sevens wanted to make an impression on their fans.

"We're expecting a huge crowd and home support. It's something we're really excited about, playing at home with that expectation – it's something we want to embrace."

The team will travel to Hamilton on Monday to prepare for the tournament.

ROTORUA DAILY POST | Sport
24 Dec, 2018 6:00am
4 minutes to read

- Supplied content
The All Blacks Sevens side to play in Hamilton next weekend

Kurt Baker (Manawatu), Dylan Collier (Waikato), Scott Curry (c) (Bay of Plenty), Sam Dickson (Canterbury), Scott Gregory (Northland), Andrew Knewstubb (Horowhenua Kapiti), Vilimoni Koroi (Otago) Tim Mikkelson (c) (Waikato), Sione Molia (Counties Manukau), Jona Nareki (Otago), Amanaki Nicole (Canterbury), Joe Ravouvou (Auckland), Tone Ng Shiu (Tasman), Regan Ware (Taranaki).