All Blacks Sevens co-captain Tim Mikkelson is set to overtake sevens legend DJ Forbes as the most capped New Zealand Sevens player next week when he runs out for his 90th tournament at the HSBC Los Angeles Sevens.
Coach Clark Laidlaw says he can't speak highly enough for Mount Maunganui-based Mikkelson, whose milestone is thoroughly deserved.
"He's the ultimate team man, his resilience and competitiveness is huge and to reach 90 tournaments with the amount of training, travel and rugby that is involved is remarkable," Laidlaw says.
"Tim is a great role model to the younger players in our group, and the last two tournaments are two of the best he's played in recent times so there's plenty more to come from him."
Mikkelson is one of 13 Bay-based players named to travel for the next two World Series legs in the US and Canada, with the Kiwi side currently leading the series standings.
The travelling team includes Caleb Clarke, Sam Dickson, Andrew Knewstubb, Ngarohi McGarvey-Black, Mikkelson, Sione Molia, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Tone Ng Shiu, Amanaki Nicole, Joe Ravouvou, Akuila Rokoisoa, William Warbrick and Joe Webber.
Ravouvou and Nicole have been named for their first tournaments this season, with Laidlaw confirming a desire to see all players gain meaningful game time in the build up to the Olympics.
Knewstubb, Rokolisoa and Warbrick return after last featuring in the Cape Town victory in December.
"We've have only lost two games so far this season but coming off Sydney we know we need to continue to improve. The competition in the squad is really pushing players every day and this group has been training well in the build up to next week," Laidlaw says.
The team heads to the US on Monday.