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All Blacks Sevens lose Sam Dickson for Dubai and Cape Town

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Alex Davidson - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

In a major blow to the All Blacks Sevens ahead of their SVNS Series opener in Dubai this weekend, veteran Sam Dickson has been withdrawn from the travelling squad due to an injury.

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The All Blacks Sevens have confirmed that last year’s World Sevens Series-winning captain has suffered a hamstring strain in the lead-up to the new campaign.

Dickson will miss the opening two events of the SVNS season in Dubai and Cape Town and has been replaced by the ever-reliable Brady Rush.

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The All Blacks Sevens may have soared to Cup final glory in Hong Kong earlier this year while Dickson was ruled out with an injury, but the genuine great leaves behind a void that is by no means easy to fill.

New head coach Tomasi Cama will have plenty of talented players to call upon at The Sevens Stadium in the United Arab Emirates this weekend, though. This list of sevens superstars within New Zealand’s ranks could go on and on.

After creating unrivalled history in May, record-breaking All Blacks Sevens ace Tim Mikkelson is back for another season after becoming the first New Zealand to play 100 international sevens events.

But New Zealand’s depth goes much deeper than that.

World Rugby Sevens Players of the Year nominees Leroy Carter and Akuila Rokolisoa headline the group, but experienced campaigners Scott Curry and Sione Molia will need to step up as leaders.

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With pre-season now officially in the books, coach Cama is looking forward to the start of the new-look SVNS Series in Dubai on December 2nd.

“There’s going to be some exciting pool games, and come the quarterfinals, the quality of the games is going to be higher than expected,” Cama said in a statement.

“We’re not here to defend anything. We’re going to play each game, and each tournament, as we go. Hopefully, we do well in each tournament.

“Most teams prepare well, and with it being the start of the series, everyone wants to start well. You don’t want to chase the series down the line.”

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The All Blacks Sevens have historically found a way to defend their World Sevens Series titles at least once – but often New Zealand’s success has forged into a sporting dynasty.

In the years that the All Blacks Sevens have ended their title droughts by being crowned World Series champions, the New Zealanders have only failed to back that up once.

With the dawn of a new SVNS era rapidly approaching, the men in black are firmly focused on the job at hand – but it’s no secret that the prize of Olympics glory in Paris is a motivation.

“We can’t really focus too much on what is at the back of this season. We want to make sure that we don’t miss a beat or a step along the way, and this is the first step for us,” Cama added.

“We’ve done our camp, we’ve done a lot of good things at our camp on where we want to get to and how we want to start on and off the field.

“We’ve challenged ourselves on a few things we can do better, things we can check along the way to make sure these things are aligned. If they are aligned, then things are on the right track come the Olympics.

“This is the first step. It will be interesting to see, and if we make that first step, hopefully we will step in the right direction whatever the outcome this week and I’m pretty sure it’s the right step towards that goal.”

All Blacks Sevens squad for Dubai

Akuila Rokolisoa, Che Clark, Codemeru Vai, Fehi Fineanganofo, Leroy Carter
Moses Leo, Ngarohi McGarvey-Black, Regan Ware, Brady Rush, Scott Curry, Sione Molia, Tepaea Cook-Savage, Tim Mikkelson

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M
Morne 41 minutes ago
Thanks but no thanks, the All Blacks do not need to copy the Boks

Some further observations: Most Rugby lovers I know agree that the AB’s have been the gold standard for as long as anyone can remember - very few people disagree. The odd time that any other team has some sort of ascendency - there are always those (albeit the minority) NZ supporters that need to remind us of the AB’s glorious gold standard that anyone winning them is only down to a mixture of pure luck or some or other sinister reason or bias from match officials (or indeed the Universe). For reasons mentioned above, any other team with some ascendency over the AB’s (even if it is the 1st time in 100 years) may not receive a pat on the back and a well-done - as they only did so out of pure luck. In my opinion, if the Boks were in the same realm as the AB’s SF opponents - they would have been smashed also - whether with 14 or 13 or 12 players. But remember they were just “lucky”. As a Bok supporter, I will say this team has done our proud - despite losing some games along the way. Like the AB’s, the games the boks lose are 9/10 times one score games - this is a long way from hidings like 57 - 0…And in that we must be proud. Most of these type of articles - especially those focusing on the RWC final rather conveniently leave out any mention of Pieter Steph du Toit, or even Eben Etzebeth who won all their collusions all day long. So to those very very few bad loser AB supporters out there (definitely the minority) - I’ll say what you want to hear - the AB’s are without any doubt the best Rugby brand ever. They have consistently achieved what all other teams can only dream of. And no doubt they will scale those heights again. Now what about allowing others the odd ray of sunlight that comes our way?

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