Etene Nanai-Seturo's surprising omission from the men's Commonwealth Games sevens team has been attributed to a lack of experience.

Earlier this year New Zealand Rugby and the Warriors needed mediation to settle the battle for the highly-rated teenager.

As a 15-year-old, Nanai-Seturo signed a five-year deal with the Warriors, only to then decide his future was in rugby union.

Under the agreement to release Nanai-Seturo, the Warriors received what is thought to be a six-figure compensation payment.


Nanai-Seturo, signed to the Chiefs next year, went on to impress on the sevens circuit but has not done enough to earn selection in the men's 12-strong Games squad.

"It was a really tight selection in the mix of the group," coach Clark Laidlaw said. "We're more than happy with the way he is going but for this one tournament we went with a bit more experience and guys who could play across the line in the backs.

"For an 18-year-old straight out of school we're massively excited about his contribution for the rest of the year heading towards the World Cup.

"It's never nice speaking to players not selected but it's something we've worked really hard on. It's not about the individual. We want to build a group that has a bigger picture to it.

"As you'd expect he was disappointed but the way he has trained this week is a credit to him."

Fellow teenager Caleb Clarke, named player of the tournament for the Blues at the Brisbane Tens, also missed out but will travel as injury cover.

Bay of Plenty 21-year-old Ngarohi McGarvey-Black forced his way in on the back of maiden appearances in Las Vegas and Vancouver.

Joe Ravouvou, a sevens regular, wasn't included as he does not hold a New Zealand passport.

"We think the balance between power, pace and our creative playmakers is really strong so hopefully we can execute the game plan that suits us."

It has been an inconsistent season from Laidlaw's side who sit third on the World Series standings behind South Africa and Fiji after seven tournaments. The absence of USA and Argentina help their quest for gold in the Gold Coast but living up to the rich history at these Games - four gold and one silver medal - will not be easy.

Laidlaw has attempted to tap into the knowledge of Tim Mikkelson and assistant coach Tomasi Cama, both of whom won gold in 2010.

"Those experienced guys have some really good insights about where we need to focus our attention.

"We never go to any tournament not trying to win. Our expectations are it's going to be bloody difficult. We're going to have to be at our very best and we know there's a lot of work to do to even get close.

"Being part of New Zealand Rugby as a whole there's those expectations. We should be proud of our history but we should also know there's nothing in history to suggest what's going to happen in the future. It's a big challenge but one we're looking forward to."

Preparations continue next week with the squad flying to Sydney for two pre-Games warm-up matches against Australia.

They then meet Canada, Zambia and in-form Kenya and must top their pool to reach the semifinals and remain in medal contention.

Men's sevens team:

Tim Mikkelson (Waikato)
Scott Curry (Bay of Plenty)
Dylan Collier (Waikato)
Sam Dickson (Canterbury)
Trael Joass (Tasman)
Vilimoni Koroi (Otago)
Andrew Knewstubb (Tasman)
Sione Molia (Counties Manukau)
Kurt Baker (Manawatu)
Joe Webber (Bay of Plenty)
Regan Ware (Bay of Plenty)
Ngarohi McGarvey-Black (Bay of Plenty)
Travelling reserve: Caleb Clarke (Auckland)