4 Feb 2015

Mikkelson out of Wellington sevens

11:24 am on 4 February 2015

The veteran All Blacks Sevens player Tim Mikkelson has been ruled out of this weekend's Wellington tournament and next week's event in the United States because of injury.

New Zealand's Tim Mikkelson in action.

New Zealand's Tim Mikkelson in action. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Mikkelson suffered a groin injury at training on Monday and coach Gordon Tietjens had hoped it would come right in time for Friday.

However it hasn't and he has been replaced by Wellington's Murphy Taramai.

Mikkelson's injury is a blow to the defending Wellington champions, who are yet to win a tournament this season.

On Monday, the All Blacks Sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens confirmed his team for this weekend's World Series tournament in Wellington, and there's no room for veterans Tomasi Cama and Lote Raikabula.

Otago's Josh Gordon and Murphy Taramai also miss the cut from the provisional squad.

There are four new caps with Waikato's Dylan Collier, Auckland's Rieko Ioane, Northland's Jack Goodhue and Taranaki's Beaudein Waaka in line to make their international debuts in front of their home crowd.

New Zealand are the reigning champions in Wellington and will be desperate to defend their title as they look to climb up the World Series leaderboard.

The All Black Sevens are the overall World Series defending champions, but find themselves in third place after the opening three tournaments in Australia, Dubai and South Africa, 12 points behind leaders South Africa.

Fiji are second, with Australia fourth.

The top four finishers at the end of the World Series receive automatic qualification for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero.

New Zealand:

Dylan Collier* (Waikato)

Scott Curry (Bay of Plenty)

Ambrose Curtis (Wellington)

Sam Dickson (Canterbury)

DJ Forbes (captain) (Counties Manukau)

Jack Goodhue* (Northland)

Rieko Ioane* (Auckland)

Gillies Kaka (Hawke's Bay)

Tim Mikkelson (Waikato)

Sherwin Stowers (Counties Manukau)

Beaudein Waaka* (Taranaki)

Joe Webber (Waikato)

* new squad member