5 Mar 2009

Sevens team losses Umaga Marshall

6:27 am on 5 March 2009

The New Zealand rugby sevens team has been forced to make a late change to its World Cup squad in Dubai after Tu Umaga Marshall was ruled out of this weekend's tournament with a lower back strain.

His replacement, also from Wellington, is Julian Savea who has joined the squad in Dubai.

Savea is part of the New Zealand Sevens national squad and played the opening two tournaments of the 2008-2009 IRB World Sevens Series in Dubai and George.

New Zealand Sevens Coach Gordon Tietjens said losing Umaga Marshall is a blow this close to the tournament, and adds to the miserable run of injuries which his squad has sustained in the lead-up to the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament.

The New Zealand Women's team has also been forced to make a late change with Exia Edwards ruled out through illness and she's been replaced by Angela McGregor.

The men's first match is tomorrow morning.