Five Bay of Plenty sevens players have been confirmed for the strong, 20-man 2019 All Blacks Sevens squad that is focusing on Olympic qualification this season.
"We're aiming to qualify for the Olympics this season and, if we learnt anything from the first two tournaments, it is important to have a strong squad from one to 20," All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw said.
The All Blacks Sevens confirmed the final places in their 2019 squad today, just days out from the first HSBC Sevens World Series event of 2019 in Hamilton this weekend.
Commonwealth Games gold medallists and World Cup winners Sam Dickson and Dylan Collier have recommitted to the side, Dickson through to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Collier for the 2019 season.
Also confirmed in the 20-strong squad are Luke Masirewa, Tone Ng Shiu and Amanaki Nicole.
Laidlaw said it was pleasing to have the group confirmed ahead of the home tournament on Saturday and Sunday.
"It's great to have these final pieces confirmed and this group is excited about what's ahead. We need to be single minded and treat every tournament like it's a World Cup because it's only going to take one bad weekend to potentially drop out of qualification contention."
Dickson, 29, debuted for the All Blacks Sevens in Dubai in 2012 and is one of the team's most experienced players with 42 World Series tournaments along with appearances at the Rugby World Cup Sevens, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games.
Collier, 27, debuted in Wellington in 2015 and has gone on to be a regular fixture in the All Blacks Sevens, amassing 29 World Series caps.
"Sam and Dylan have been two of the most consistent players in this team over the past few years and it's important to have that sort of experience because in big moments they have been there and done it."
Ng Shiu, Amanaki Nicole and Luke Masirewa have all re-signed for the 2019 season. Ng Shiu has been a part of the squad for two years, while Nicole made his debut in Hong Kong last year. Masirewa, who was selected last year after first appearing for the All Blacks Sevens in 2013, is recovering from a shoulder injury.
"These players are part of the next generation. Guys who hopefully have a long future in the black jersey, and we've seen in the past 12 months they have all taken their opportunities," Laidlaw said.
The 2019 All Blacks Sevens squad:
Kurt Baker (Manawatu)
Ngarohi McGarvey-Black (Bay of Plenty)
Dylan Collier (Waikato)
Scott Curry (Bay of Plenty)
Sam Dickson (Canterbury)
Scott Gregory (Northland)
Trael Joass (Bay of Plenty)
Niko Jones (Auckland)
Andrew Knewstubb (Horowhenua Kapiti)
Vilimoni Koroi (Otago)
Luke Masirewa (Bay of Plenty)
Tim Mikkelson (Waikato)
Sione Molia (Counties Manukau)
Jona Nareki (Otago)
Amanaki Nicole (Canterbury)
Joe Ravouvou (Auckland)
Akuila Rokolisoa (Counties Manukau)
Tone Ng Shiu (Tasman)
Regan Ware (Taranaki)
Joe Webber (Bay of Plenty)