3 Feb 2017

Duo to make NZ Sevens debut in Sydney

1:01 pm on 3 February 2017

Tasman duo Trael Joass and Andrew Knewstubb will debut for the New Zealand men's Sevens team as they attempt to defend their title at this weekend's Sydney Sevens.

Trael Joass and Viliami Lolohea celebrate after Tasman's win over Auckland. Mitre 10 Cup.

Trael Joass and Viliami Lolohea celebrate after Tasman's win over Auckland. Mitre 10 Cup. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Isaac Te Tamaki and Tone Ng Shiu will be the travelling reserves, with the rest of the team unchanged from the Wellington tournament last week.

The team failed to defend their title in Wellington finishing sixth.

The All Blacks Sevens are fifth in the overall World Series standings.

South Africa lead, with Fiji second, England third and Scotland fourth.

Scott Curry captains the New Zealand side, with veterans DJ Forbes, Tim Mikkelson and Sherwin Stowers also in the team that will attempt to bounce back from the disappointment of Wellington with victory in Sydney.

New Zealand's opening pool game is against hosts and last year's runners-up Australia, with Papua New Guinea and Scotland, who made the semi-finals in Wellington last week, rounding out the pool.

"We are excited to give Trael and Andrew an opportunity to play this weekend and take the form they showed at the National Sevens and apply that at an international level," said coach Scott Waldrom.

"We learned a lot from Wellington and continue to work on what's required to win in what has become a very tough World Series. Last weekends Fiji quarter-final showed us that if you make a few mistakes you will be punished by the opposition and we can't afford that this weekend with another tough pool.

"Playing Australia first up in front of their home crowd is going to be a big challenge for the team, and then to face a very consistent Scotland team at the end of the day means we need to be at our best for all games if we want to make it through to the Cup competition."

The team is (*new cap):

Scott Curry - Captain (Bay of Plenty)

Dylan Collier (Southland)

DJ Forbes (Counties Manukau)

Iopu Iopu-Aso (Taranaki)

Trael Joass* (Tasman)

Rocky Khan (Auckland)

Andrew Knewstubb* (Tasman)

Vilimoni Koroi (Otago)

Tim Mikkelson (Waikato)

Sione Molia (Counties Manukau)

Sherwin Stowers (Counties Manukau)

Regan Ware (Bay of Plenty)

Travelling reserves

Isaac Te Tamaki (Waikato)

Tone Ng Shiu (Tasman)