It is youth to the fore for the wider Wanganui Sevens squad announced this week to begin preparations for trying to qualify for the TECT National Sevens in December.

Returning coach Ace Malo has named 21 players, with the first training held on Wednesday night at Cooks Gardens, although the eight players in the current wider Steelform Wanganui Heartland squad were exempted, as they prepare for Saturday's Meads Cup semifinal with Thames Valley.

From the remaining 13, there are some young names, including six members of the Air Chathams Wanganui Under 18 squad which made the final of the Central Secondary Schools Shield competition.

Dillon Adrole, Ezra Malo, Ioane Hough, Logan Henry, Semi Vodosese and Te Atawhai Mason will all get a look.


Vodosese had previously been named in the wider NZ-Fiji Schools Sevens training group who are preparing for the World Schools Sevens, being held in Auckland in December.

In addition for the Wanganui squad, Heartland Hurricanes Under 20's players Jason Myers and Jamie-Lee Robertson are included, with Myers having a banner season as he captained the New Zealand Heartland XV at the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under 19 tournament.

Matt Ashworth was the 2018 Wanganui sevens captain, while Dane Whale was the vice captain.

Wanganui missed qualifying for nationals in early December last year when they were beaten in the Central Regional 7's plate final by Wairarapa Bush, who therefore finished fifth and took the last spot.

It was a reversal on 2017 when Wanganui won the plate final against the same side.

Being in the smaller three-team Pool A in Levin, Wanganui lost to eventual Central tournament winner Wellington 19-7, before being hammered by Hawke's Bay 36-0.

They then won the only Plate semifinal over home team Horowhenua-Kapiti 29-7, but ran out of legs in the final with Wairarapa Bush, who picked up a big 35-7 win.

The Central 7's will again be held at Playford Park in Levin on November 30.


Tauranga will again host the National Sevens tournament on December 14-15.

The squad is
Cameron Davies, Dane Whale, Desmond Tyrell, Dillon Adrole, Emitai Logadraudrau, Ethan Robinson, Ezra Malo, Ioane Hough, Jamie-Lee Robertson, Jason Myers, Karl Pascoe, Logan Henry, Matt Ashworth, Neihana Parkes, Penijamini Nabainivalu, Renato Tikoisolomone, Semi Vodosese, Sheldon Pakinga-Manhire, Te Atawhai Mason, Tyler Rogers-Holden, Vereniki Tikoisolomone.
Coach: Ace Malo; Manager: Mark Cosford.