The All Blacks Sevens have rushed Kurt Baker and Bay of Plenty's Luke Masirewa to Vancouver to join the All Blacks Sevens team ahead of the HSBC Canada Sevens this weekend.
They replace Tim Mikkelson (ribs) and Vilimoni Koroi (knee) who were injured at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas last weekend where the All Blacks Sevens claimed fifth place, beating Australia in overtime of the Plate final 17-12. Both players have returned to New Zealand.
Coach Clark Laidlaw said Baker and Masirewa had joined the team and trained yesterday morning.
"We are lucky we're bringing in two players with experience. We are also lucky we are centralised [at Mount Maunganui] and these guys train with us every day. It's a massive advantage for us to bring players in who are up to speed and ready to go.
"There are a couple of area of our game we think we can fix reasonably quickly and we need to fix reasonably quickly for this weekend so that is the exciting challenge this week."
The Canada Sevens is the final tournament before the Commonwealth Games for players to secure a place in the squad for the Gold Coast.
"It is an important weekend for a lot of players. We are going to have some tight calls come Sunday night when we have to pick the 13 who will represent us at the Commonwealth Games," Laidlaw said.
"We probably have 18 or 19 players who we think could play so it is an important weekend."
The All Black Sevens have lost successive games to Fiji after giving up possession going into the final play of the match, a pattern that Laidlaw and his team would dearly love to turn around.
"Yeah, it's about holding it. We need to close the games out. We are well aware as a group how tight the World Series is. Anyone who watched on the weekend would have seen how many games were won in the last 30 seconds; some would say ridiculously high.
"But it is probably the world we live in so part of our review was how do we close out games when we have possession and how do we try and get the ball back when we don't have possession. Where do we kick from our kick-off when the hooter already went.
"For us as a group that is hugely important that last two minutes in managing the game and we need to be better at it. We need to launch better off set piece, we can defend better and a bit more aggressive. If we can put all facets of our game together at once we can put in a performance we can be really proud of."
The All Blacks Sevens team to play at the Canada Sevens will be named later today. They will meet Scotland, Russia and South Africa in pool play, with matches kicking off Sunday morning (NZT).