21 Jan 2016

SBW named in Wellington Sevens squad

2:50 pm on 21 January 2016

All Black Sonny Bill Williams and three newcomers have been included in the New Zealand rugby sevens squad for the upcoming Wellington leg of the World Series.

Counties Manakau sevens co-captain Joshua Van Leishout

Counties Manakau sevens co-captain Joshua Van Leishout Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The squad of 22 players features four additional players following the weekend's National Sevens tournament in Rotorua, three of whom are new to the All Blacks Sevens.

Two of the trio come from the National Championship winning Counties-Manukau side, Sione Molia and Josh Van Lieshout, with the third new addition Hawkes Bay's Billy Ropiha.

Taranaki's Kurt Baker, who's played 17 World Series tournaments for New Zealand, is the fourth player added to the squad after returning to the All Blacks Sevens as a contracted squad member for 2016.

The All Blacks Sevens squad to for the Wellington Sevens will assemble in the capital on Thursday.

The team to play the Wellington tournament will be named on Monday, with most of the interest surrounding whether or not World Cup winner Williams will be selected to make his All Blacks Sevens debut.

Scott Curry, Declan O'Donnell, DJ Forbes, Sherwin Stowers were not available because of injury, while All Black loose forward Liam Messam was unavailable due to rugby commitments in Japan.

The squad is:

Kurt Baker (Taranaki)

Dylan Collier (Waikato)

Sam Dickson (Canterbury)

Akira Ioane (Auckland)

Rieko Ioane (Auckland)

Gillies Kaka (Hawke's Bay)

Antonio Kiri Kiri (Manawatu)

Ben Lam (Auckland)

Josh Van Lieshout* (Counties Manukau)

Tim Mikkelson (Waikato)

Sione Molia* (Counties Manukau)

Lewis Ormond (Taranaki)

Augustine Pulu (Waikato)

Billy Ropiha* (Hawke's Bay)

Ardie Savea (Wellington)

Teddy Stanaway (Bay of Plenty)

Isaac Te Aute (Bay of Plenty)

Isaac Te Tamaki (Waikato)

Beaudein Waaka (Taranaki)

Regan Ware (Waikato)

Sonny Bill Williams (Counties Manukau)

Joe Webber (Waikato)

*new squad member