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Star-studded New Zealand teams named for Oceania Sevens

By Finn Morton
New Zealand cruised to victory in both the women’s and men’s finals of the Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens on a dramatic final day to increase their leads at the top of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 standings.

SVNS icons Jorja Miller, Tim Mikkelson, Shiray Kaka and Sam Dickson will light up Brisbane’s iconic Ballymore Stadium at the Oceania Sevens from Friday to Sunday.

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With the new-look SVNS season just a matter of weeks away, All Blacks and Black Ferns Sevens stars will look to continue their preparation for the upcoming campaign against world-class opponents.

While the Oceania Sevens serve as an Olympic qualifier event, both New Zealand teams have booked their tickets to Paris 2024. They’ll play other qualified teams alongside the main draw.

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Rather than calling themselves the Black Ferns, the women’s team will play under a development banner with the squad including a combination of young talents and contracted players.

Olympic gold medallists Theresa Fitzpatrick and Tenika Willison will co-captain the New Zealand Development Sevens side which is made up of rising stars in Waikato’s Reese Anderson and Bay of Plenty’s Olive Watherston.

Black Ferns assistant Ed Cocker will coach the development side in Brisbane, with the New Zealanders set to test themselves against Australia in four matches over three days.

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As for the All Blacks Sevens, they’ve named an extended squad of 15. World Series legend Tim Mikkelson will take the field alongside younger players including Manawatu’s Jayden Keelan and Payton Spencer.

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The All Blacks Sevens will play in a non-qualifying pool that includes Australia, Fiji, Niue and an Oceania Barbarians outfit. Following pool play, the top two teams will meet in a final on Sunday afternoon.

The New Zealand Development Sevens (women’s)1.    Tenika Willison (cc)2.    Reese Anderson3.    Manaia Nuku4.    Tysha Ikenasio5.    Olive Watherston6.    Kelsey Teneti7.    Jorja Miller8.    Dhys Faleafaga9.    Shiray Kaka10.    Theresa Fitzpatrick (cc)11.    Grace Steinmetz12.    Terina Te TamakiThe New Zealand Men’s Sevens1.    Che Clark2.    Tim Mikkelson3.    Scott Curry4.    Cody Vai5.    Ngarohi McGarvey-Black6.    Akuila Rokolisoa7.    Dylan Collier8.    Fehi Fineanganofo9.    Moses Leo10.    Tepaea Cook-Savage11.    Sione Molia12.    Regan Ware13.    Sam Dickson14.    Payton Spencer15.    Jayden KeelanDay One – Friday 10 November *times listed in NZDT3.18pm New Zealand men v Oceania7.20pm New Zealand Development women v Australia7.42pm New Zealand men v FijiDay Two – Saturday 11 November4.08pm New Zealand Development women v Australia4.30pm New Zealand men v Niue7.04pm New Zealand Development women v Australia7.26pm New Zealand men v AustraliaDay Three – Sunday 12 November3.18pm Mens Final4.02pm New Zealand Development women v AustraliaMatches will be broadcast on Sky.

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