The All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens squads to defend New Zealand's double titles at the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco, USA, have been named today.

Both teams travel to USA this weekend as defending World Cup champions for the new knock-out format.

All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw said the unique nature of the knock out competition contributed to it being a difficult squad to select.

"Getting the balance of the squad right was the main thing. It's a different tournament in that its four games instead of six and we can only take 12 players, so we were looking to have flexibility in the 12 in terms of the positions they cover.


"No team has ever won back to back World Cup titles since it's started so we have certainly talked about that and about being the first team to change that. We know there are massive challenges to come, all the teams will be really well prepared," said Laidlaw.

The All Blacks Sevens will play the winner of Russia v Hong Kong in their first match on Saturday 21 July (kick off 3.31pm NZT)
The All Blacks Sevens team is:
Kurt Baker
Dylan Collier
Scott Curry - captain
Trael Joass
Andrew Knewstubb
Jona Nareki
Tim Mikkelson - captain
Sione Molia
Salesi Rayasi
Joe Ravouvou
Akuila Rokolisoa
Regan Ware

Black Ferns Sevens coach Allan Bunting said this was the most challenging squad he has ever had to name.

"It was definitely hard but that's exactly where we want to be. In our trials there was so much motivation, excitement and skill set; we know we have selected the right team.

"We have had a good year, but this group is strict on themselves, we think we have room to improve and those last bits we need to get right are the toughest.

"Our players are incredibly motivated, playing in an amazing stadium and having the chance to leave mana there, to inspire other women, this is another great opportunity for our team," said Bunting.

The Black Ferns Sevens face Mexico in their opening match of the World Cup on Friday 20 July (kick off 6.50am Saturday 21 July NZT).

The Black Ferns Sevens team is:
Shakira Baker
Michaela Blyde
Kelly Brazier
Gayle Broughton
Theresa Fitzpatrick
Sarah Goss - captain
Tyla Nathan-Wong
Ruby Tui
Stacey Waaka
Niall Williams
Tenika Willison
Portia Woodman