The All Blacks Sevens are about to enter their first tournament of the HSBC World Series and with the success of their last season, and of course the black jersey, they'll likely have a target on their backs.

Coach Clark Laidlaw has named the All Blacks Sevens team for their season opener in Dubai this weekend, which will have Scott Curry and Sione Molia as co-captains for the tournament.

Molia steps up to co-captain with Curry as Tim Mikkelson in New Zealand awaiting the arrival of his first child.

"Having co-captains worked really well for us last season so with Timmy out it provides another opportunity for Sione to step up and show his leadership skills. He is already a valued leader in our environment and we know he will work well alongside Scott in this role," Laidlaw said.

He said they were feeling confident heading into their first tournament of the series and were looking forward to getting back out on the field.


"The boys are excited to get back out."

The remaining team members include Luke Masirewa, Tone Ng Shiu, Ngarohi McGarvey-Black, Dylan Collier, Akuila Rokolisoa, Sam Dickson, Andrew Knewstubb, Regan Ware, Scott Gregory and Jona Nareki. Amanaki Nicole is the travelling reserve.

Northland's Gregory will make his World Series debut this weekend, after his first hit out with the All Blacks Sevens at the Oceania Sevens earlier this month.

"Scott has been in our environment only a short time, but he has proved to be a quick learner and we are excited to see what he will achieve on the field. He's already had an impressive year with New Zealand Under 20s and a strong Mitre 10 Cup campaign, he's looking forward to this next opportunity."

New Zealand face Wales, Spain and USA in pool play and know a strong start will be important.

He said with their success last season - including a Commonwealth Games Gold Medal and a World Cup title - he expects their opposition to come for them.

"The black jersey is always a target," he said.

However, they were focused on what they needed to work on and with an aggressive defence, they were looking for a win.

"We can't stress enough how tough the series is going to be with Olympic qualification on the line.

"Every tournament is important which means every time you step on the field you have to be ready," said Laidlaw.

Kurt Baker had originally travelled with the team but returned to New Zealand with a calf injury earlier this week.

The men's tournament will be screened on Sky Sports 1.


Day One, November 30:

9.22am v Wales (6.22pm Friday NZT)

12.22pm v Spain (9.22pm Friday NZT)

6.22pm v USA (3.22am Saturday NZT)

Day Two, Saturday December 1
Play offs

2017/2018 World series schedule

Dubai, November 30-December 1
Cape Town, December 8-9
Hamilton, January 16-17
Sydney, February 2-3
Las Vegas, March1-3
Vancouver, March 9-10
Hong Kong, April 5-7
Singapore, April 13-14
London, May 25-26
Paris, June 1-2