17 Feb 2009

IRB sevens series still close

7:32 am on 17 February 2009

While he has the option of bringing in a few Super 14 players, the New Zealand rugby sevens coach Gordon Tietjens may be tempted to primarily stick with the young players he's used in recent rounds of the IRB series for the Sevens World Cup in Dubai next month.

Tietjens' player stocks have been stretched by a number of injuries in recent weeks but they still managed to finish runners-up in Wellington and then win the Plate competition in San Diego yesterday.

He now has just over two weeks to prepare a side for the World Cup, which New Zealand last won in 2001 when they had the likes of Jonah Lomu and Eric Rush playing for them.

Tietjens can call in a few players from the Super 14 squads, but he admits whatever side he picks it will generally be young and inexperienced.

Meanwhile Argentina's win in san Diego yesterday means its still close in the IRB series with South Africa and England on top with 60 points, New Zealand has 52 with Argentina has 48.

The next round of the IRB series is in Hong Kong at the end of March.