Final squads announced for HSBC Wellington Sevens
- Sonny Bill Williams to debut in Wellington
- Semi Kunatani returns for Fiji
- Kenya most experienced team
The final squads of 12 for the 16 competing teams at the third round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series have been announced.
With the series continuing after two pulsating events in Dubai and Cape Town in December all 16 teams will be looking to deliver a strong start in the year of rugby sevens’ debut at the Olympic Games and less than 200 days until Rio.
Despite a shaky start and heading into their home tournament seventh on the series standings, defending HSBC Wellington Sevens champions New Zealand have named a strong squad even in the absence of the likes of captain Scott Curry and DJ Forbes. Rugby World Cup 2015 winner Sonny Bill Williams will make his debut, with Rieko and Akira Ioane returning to play in a series event together for the first time and Ardie Savea, brother of Julian, Ben Lam and Kurt Baker are set for their first appearances this season for the All Blacks Sevens. The All Blacks Sevens head into the tournament having won four of the last five HSBC Wellington Sevens tournaments.WHERE CAN I WATCH THE HSBC WELLINGTON SEVENS? >>Elsewhere, Semi Kunatani returns to Ben Ryan’s series leading Fiji and needs just one try to reach 50, with second place South Africa without the sevens player of the year Werner Kok, captain Kyle Brown, Cecil Afrika and Ryno Benjamin who was injured in training this week.
Kenya are the most experienced side with 316 tournaments and Humphrey Kayange returns to appear in his 60th tournament, just two tries from 150. Biko Adema will make his 50th sevens appearance, as will Argentina’s Nicolas Bruzzone. Another milestone to keep an eye on at the weekend is Portugal’s Aderito Esteves, who is two tries away from 100.