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'A great athlete': Son of All Blacks legend Carlos Spencer signs with NZ sevens

By Finn Morton
Payton Spencer, son of Carlos, in action for Hamilton Boys' High

Rising star Payton Spencer has signed a deal with the All Blacks sevens squad, almost 20 years after his famous father’s last test match in the coveted black jersey.

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The 18-year-old is one of three players to commit their futures to sevens, along with exciting talents Xavier Tito-Harris and Tepaea Cook-Savage.

The All Blacks announced the signings on Tuesday morning, with all three players inking two-year deals with the squad.

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All Blacks sevens coach Clark Laidlaw is thrilled to have signed the talented Spencer, and is “excited” to see how “quickly he can pick up the game.”

“Obviously really good stock, coming from his dad Carlos Spencer,” Laidlaw said.

“He is a great athlete, typical Hamilton Boys… knows how to work hard, knows how to train really well and is a great product of their system.

“He has a good skillset, a beautiful passer… a big, tall rangy athlete. He has not played a lot of sevens, he has played a lot of cricket over the summer and is outstanding.

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“We are excited how quickly he can pick up the game and his ability to play sevens. It has been great to see his skills develop during induction over the last couple of weeks.”

The Hamilton Boys High School product is a talented athlete, who has starred in both rugby fifteens and cricket.

But Spencer has his sights set on the biggest tournament in world sport.

After signing for the sevens squad, the teenager spoke about his Olympics dream and why he’s “glad” to have received this opportunity.

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“I haven’t played much sevens, mainly fifteens, but I am glad I have come to sevens, the boys and the culture is great,” Spencer said.

“It hasn’t been easy; it hasn’t been that hard either, it is still rugby, Been a fullback in fifteens, mounts well shifting to sevens.

“To go to the Olympics is my dream, which is the same for everyone playing rugby sevens. It’s a huge sporting event.”

After a disastrous start to their World Series campaign, the New Zealand men’s sevens team currently occupy third spot on the overall standings after three events.

They could potentially rise up the standings over the next couple of weeks though, starting with the Hamilton leg of the Series this weekend.

Following the stop on home soil, the sevens team will travel across the ditch for the Sydney Sevens on January 27-29.

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