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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blow to the All Blacks Sevens ahead of their SVNS Series opener in Dubai this weekend, veteran Sam Dickson has been withdrawn from the travelling squad due to an injury.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Dickson will miss the opening two events of the SVNS season in Dubai and Cape Town and has been replaced by the ever-reliable Brady Rush.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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2 Comments
P
Pecos 196 days ago

Given that the format is only about qualifying top 8/12 for the winner-takes-all finals tournament, it's no real loss. I mean he missed most of last season too. Plus, a small reminder that Father Time is hovering over Mickelson, Dickson, & Curry.

K
KELLY 196 days ago

IRB 7s CURCUIT;
 
Hopefully the IRB WR 7s rugby circuit RE imagine their format even more and change the way they format their games very soon, so all the top teams play each other often. Otherwise why watch the 7s IRB rugby circuit when it’s not a real competition.
 
This new IRB format is a nonsense format and is much worse than old IRBs formatted circuit, because no teams form or consistency counts until the last round. Like having 40 odd practice games. As none of the first six tournaments within ranks really count for anything, as the top eight teams make the final anyway. Which means the top four teams from the first six rounds of the 7s rugby IRB circuit are meaningless. As those teams could come 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th in the IRBs 7s circuits FINAL round.
 
The old IRB ladder system was much better ranking system that found the most consistent team as the IRB’s FINALIST!
 
Especially when the past IRBS 7s format usually meant that only the top teams could win this bias tournament, which makes the IRB 7s circuit very boring!
 
Presently the IRB champions aren’t the real champions as a team of champions beats a big pool of evenly ranked teams at every IRB circuit, that aren't necessarily the teams that make final. Making the comp worth watching because presently winning on the IRB circuit depends on who you play, and even those games are all meaningless until the last round. Making the game a shame not a game!
 
By having all of their IRB 7s series top 12 teams put in TWO pools of six teams, ranked in each pool from the previous IRB sevens ladder standings. POOL ONE 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11: POOL TWO 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12:
 
Would create a real competition as then all the IRB circuit teams would regularly play each other. Then have all the teams by rank from each pool play the other pools teams by rank. Meaning Pool A’s ranked teams would play Pool B’s teams by rank, all the way down to the 6th ranked team in both Pools.
 
Ie Pool A 1st versus Pool B 1st, Pool A 2nd versus Pool B 2nd, 3rd versus 3rd – 4th versus 4th -5th versus 5th – 6th versus 6th. Which means each team would play six games each to get ranked correctly. Which would be great spectator wise. Which is 66 odd competitive games spread over two/three days.
 
Or 132 games in the men’s and women’s divisions held over 2/3 days, which should be accomplishable. With 14 manned squads for nutrition and two or three rugby fields at each location?
 
And by having the bottom four teams after the IRB circuit having to challenge the top two teams from the challenging series. Would create a pool of 6 teams playing in a round robin or three to make the top four as core teams. To RE merge with the IRBs top 8 IRB teams for the next years IRB circuit. Giving the new challenging teams ‘time’ to develop their game!
 
They also need to evolve the rules of the game to speed the game up a heap to save time to score more tries, the games have become predictable and boring!
 
Making the 7s IRB circuit very good to watch that would eventually pay for itself, ‘you’d think!
 MENS POOLS:
                  POOL ONE;-----------------POOL TWO;
 
1st NEW ZEALAND------------------2nd ARGENTINA
3rd FRANCE---------------------------4th FIJI 5th AUSTRALIA-----------------------6th SAMOA
7th SOUTH AFRICA------------------8th IRELAND 9th USA---------------------------------10th GREAT BRITIAN
11th SPAIN----------------------------12th CANADA
 WOMEN’S POOLS
 POOL ONE;-----------------POOL TWO;
 
1st NEW ZEALAND------------------2nd AUSTRALIA 3rd USA--------------------------------4th FRANCE
5th IRELAND-------------------------6th FIJI
7th GREAT BRTIAN-----------------8th JAPAN
9th CANADA-------------------------10th SPAIN 11th BRAZIL-------------------------12TH CHINA
 
By Adopting these five 7s rugby ELVS would mean all the squads on the 7s rugby IRB circuit could win a tournament or two. And would stop the IRB circuit’s predictable boring outcomes?
 
Who wants to watch a one-sided comp where many squads can’t win it because of its rules? What are ELVs for. These rules would speed the game up and improve its spectacle dramatically. In the order they’re in?
 
The IRB sevens squads need to have 14 in their squads to have a seven manned bench to help rehydrate the team if these five 7s EVLs were used?
 
1/ Seven points awarded for a try under the posts, would save a lot of time, to get more tries.
 
2/ Use the drop goal-line drop-out. Which should already be a law as it’s very hard in sevens rugby to hold a player up over the goal-line, and that type of defence deserves a break. To get to kick the ball away from their goal-line!
 
3/ All conversions to be taken by the person who scored the try, even if it’s a forward because a scrubbed conversion by a forward would create plenty of time for an extra try or six. Making it far easier to get six quick unconverted tries to win, than to get 4 converted tries to ‘WIN’ a game.
 
4/ Having one-minute yellow cards for all deliberate knocks-ons and for some cynical game momentum changing fouls, that stops a try from being scored. Would suit any team as having two-minute ‘yellow cards’ is far too long and destroys the games spectacle.
 
5/ Having two-minute replacement red cards” for dangerous play, and put that player on TMO ‘RE view for a game or for a few game suspensions.
 
 
 

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