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‘A true inspiration’: Tim Mikkelson set for ‘significant milestone’ in Toulouse

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

All Blacks Sevens great Tim Mikkelson will become the first New Zealander to reach an incredible milestone when he makes his highly anticipated return from injury in Toulouse next week.

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While injuries have limited Mikkelson’s playing time over the last couple of seasons, the veteran is set to become the first Kiwi to play 100 international sevens tournaments in the black jersey.

Head coach Clark Laidlaw praised the All Blacks Sevens icon for his “dedication and resilience” after including Mikkelson in the travelling squad for the upcoming World Series event.

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“Tim is an incredible player, a true inspiration for us all, with a great love for his team and the jersey,” Laidlaw said in a statement.

“His dedication and resilience he has shown over his whole career but in particular this last year, shows how outstanding he is.

“We are looking forward to seeing him take the field and achieve this significant milestone.”

The All Blacks Sevens have named an exciting squad ahead of the World Series leg in France, with Clark Laidlaw also welcoming back Scott Curry, Sam Dickson and Roderick Solo.

Rising star Che Clark, 20, has also been included in the squad for the first time since the HSBC Sydney Sevens earlier this year.

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“We are fortunate we have a talented bunch of lads to choose from. Each member of our squad has been a part of this team’s success to date,” he added.

“With the return of our experienced players such as Scott and Tim from injury, the challenge was for our coaching group to select the best team that we could.

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“They have all been training hard and extremely well, so that the team is in the best possible place to finish the season with the energy and intensity that will see us finish the way we want to.”

Experienced campaigner Sam Dickson will captain the side in France, while Dylan Collier and Sione Molia will resume their roles as vice-captains.

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Collier and Molia led the side to crucial Cup final victories in Dickson’s absence, including a hard-fought win over Fiji at the esteemed Hong Kong Sevens.

“We are pleased to welcome back Sam to captain the team.

“Dylan and Sione have done a great job in Sam’s absence, as a result they assume vice captaincy alongside him.”

All Blacks Sevens for HSBC World Series in Toulouse

  1. Scott Curry
  2. Brady Rush
  3. Akuila Rokolisoa
  4. Dylan Collier (vc)
  5. Sam Dickson (c)
  6. Leroy Carter
  7. Moses Leo
  8. Che Clark
  9. Tepaea Cook-Savage
  10. Sione Molia (vc)
  11. Tim Mkkelson
  12. Roderick Solo
  13. Regan Ware

Unavailable: Amanaki Nicole, Andrew Knewstubb, Ngarohi McGarvey Black, Tone Ng Shiu, Lewsi Ormond, Joe Webber

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