Key Points:

Four newcomers have today been named in the 17-man New Zealand rugby sevens squad for the 2008 season.

They are 25-year-old fullback Kendrick Lynn of Southland, 22-year-old midfielder Ben Nowell of Canterbury, 26-year-old halfback Chad Tuoro of Counties Manukau and 19-year-old winger Nafi Tuitavake of North Harbour.

Coach Gordon Tietjens said all four players had stood out at the sevens tournament in Queenstown this month and at last week's national trial.

"Each one brings something special to the national team and that is exciting, " Tietjens said.

"Kendrick Lynn is a good footballer blessed with an array of skills and I am sure that he will put these to effective use in the sevens game.

" Ben Nowell is a workhorse and has showed his talent in the 15s game.

"Chad Tuoro is an experienced player who had an impressive national tournament for his province and Nafi Tuitavake is still young but he is skilful and has a lot of sevens potential."

Tietjens has also named New Zealand age grade representatives Victor Vito of Wellington and Israel Dagg of Hawke's Bay in his squad for 2008.

Both players made their New Zealand sevens debut during the IRB sevens series tournaments in Dubai and South Africa in December.

The rest of the squad are players who played for New Zealand during the team's successful 2006/2007 campaign.

"This is a good squad, the competition for places is healthy and the players will make it difficult for me to select the team for the NZI sevens in Wellington next week," Tietjens said.

After Wellington the team will compete in tournaments in San Diego (February 9-10), Hong Kong (March 28-30), Adelaide (April 5-6), London (May 24-25) and Edinburgh (May 31- June 1).

After the first two tournaments, New Zealand lead the IRB sevens series standings on 40 points, ahead of Fiji (32 points) and South Africa (24 points).

2008 squad
Tomasi Cama (Manawatu), Edwin Cocker (Auckland), Israel Dagg (Hawke's Bay), DJ Forbes (Auckland), Nigel Hunt (Wellington), Tafai Ioasa (Hawke's Bay), Solomon King (Bay of Plenty), Zar Lawrence (North Harbour), Kendrick Lynn (Southland), Ben Nowell (Canterbury), Afeleke Pelenise (Tasman), Lote Raikabula (Manawatu), Rene Ranger (Northland), Chad Tuoro (Counties Manukau), Nafi Tuitavake (North Harbour), Victor Vito (Wellington) and Steven Yates (Canterbury).

- NZPA