Taranaki's representative sevens squads have been named before the Central Regions Qualifying tournament in Levin this weekend.

Both the CMK Bulls and Port Taranaki Whio sevens sides have named 12 players to compete in the tournament on Saturday as they look to qualify for the TECT National tournament on 14-15 December in Tauranga.

The CMK Bulls, coached by Johnny Weston, Tim Stuck and Warwick Lahmert, feature two Yarrows Taranaki Bulls players.

Loose forwards Tom Florence and Johnny Faletagoa'i-Malase have been selected to create physicality to the side.


Rhodes Featherstone and Liam Blyde, who have been around the New Zealand Sevens Development group, have also been selected adding to the squad.

Other notables include Daniel Rona and Christian Fa'avae who are exciting prospects in the sevens games.

Johnny says the side has been training with the Taranaki Fijians, New Plymouth Boys High and Francis Douglas Memorial College Condor Sevens squads in the lead up to the tournament.

"Due to no club sevens this year, we had identified players through club rugby as well as the representative programmes being Under 19s, Development and Mitre 10.

"We have been training with a squad that has been much bigger that in the past to start with which has provided players with an opportunity to see what the programme is about."

Johnny says they have named an exciting team for regionals which has been hard for the management to narrow down.

"That is credit to the quality of the players and the work they have put in to date."

The squad is lucky to have a balance of experience and youth with the likes of Blyde, Featherstone and Rona season campaigners. However, it's a great opportunity to expose some younger players to the regional level as well, he says.


Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens and Jayson Potroz are unavailable for selection but hope to be available if the side qualifies for the nationals.

Taranaki will play Horowhenua/Kāpiti, Hawkes Bay and Wanganui before playoff matches start at 3:20pm.

Iritana Hohaia has been selected in the Port Taranaki Whio squad for this weekend.

The former New Zealand Youth Olympics sevens and New Zealand Under 18 Development sevens representative played a key role in the Farah Palmer Cup this season.

Chelsea Fowler, who also played well in the women's competition, will captain the side with Elle Johns as the vice-captain.

Inglewood High School student Chloe Sampson has been named in the squad.

Whio sevens head coach Brendan Haami said the side has been training hard in the last few months and is looking for an improved performance from last year.

"We have been building well towards this tournament. We are looking to be more consistent during the weekend with the aim to qualify for the nationals in two weeks.

"There is a good mixture of Farah Palmer Cup players and up and coming talent in the squad for this weekend," he says..

Brendan says there are opportunities for the non-Farah Palmer Cup players to stake their claim in the tournament this weekend for an amber and black jersey next season.

The Whio only play in two pool matches, given Wairarapa Bush's withdrawal, against Manawatu and Poverty Bay. Taranaki need to win one of those matches to qualify for the national tournament.

In addition to the players, Taranaki referee Josh Prestige will be an assistant referee at the tournament. Will Johnston was selected to referee but has withdrawn due to a bereavement.

■ A full draw can be found on the Central Zone 7s Facebook page.