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New Zealand Rugby
New Zealand Sevens side announced
ESPN Staff
October 3, 2013
New Zealand captain DJ Forbes leads his side's celebrations, New Zealand v England, Rugby World Cup Sevens, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, June 30, 2013
Veteran forward DJ Forbes will be leading the 12-man squad during the Gold Coast tournament © Getty Images
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New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens has named an experienced squad to begin New Zealand's defence of their Sevens Rugby World Series title in Australia next week. Veteran forward DJ Forbes will captain the 12-man squad at the tournament on the Gold Coast on October 12-13 as the Kiwis begin the pursuit of a 12th series title.

Among 10 players who were involved in the 2012-13 series are long-serving trio Tomasi Cama, Tim Mikkelson and Lote Raikabula. Wellington outside back Ambrose Curtis, 21, is the only new face. He has impressed in this year's ITM Cup, a year after playing for the New Zealand under-20 side.

Tietjens says Curtis was on the verge of sevens selection a year ago before sustaining a shoulder injury. "Ambrose is big, fast and strong and a great prospect for the future," Tietjens said. "He hasn't played sevens at this level before, but he certainly has the skill set."

Gold Coast Sevens Draw

  • Pool A: New Zealand, Kenya, United States, Tonga
  • Pool B: South Africa, England, France, Spain
  • Pool C: Fiji, Wales, Canada, Portugal
  • Pool D: Samoa, Australia, Argentina, Scotland

A feature is the return of Joe Webber, who played seven tournaments in 2011/12 before signing an ITM Cup contract with Waikato last year. Scott Curry also returns after the disappointment of having to withdraw from the triumphant World Cup squad after being injured just before departure for Moscow in June.

Among the eight players who didn't make the cut from a 20-strong training squad are Gillies Kaka and Rocky Khan, who both impressed for Tietjens last season. New Zealand's pool opponents on the Gold Coast are the US, Tonga and Kenya. There are nine tournaments in the series, finishing in London on May 10-11. Wellington hosts the fifth leg, on February 7-8.

New Zealand: DJ Forbes (capt), Tomasi Cama, Scott Curry, Ambrose Curtis, Sam Dickson, Mark Jackman, Tim Mikkelson, Waisake Naholo, Lote Raikabula, Sherwin Stowers, Belgium Tuatagaloa, Joe Webber.

HSBC Sevens World Series 2013-2014
Round 1 Australia (Gold Coast) October 12-13, 2013
Round 2 Dubai November 29-30, 2013
Round 3 South Africa (Port Elizabeth) December 7-8, 2013
Round 4 USA (Las Vegas) January 24-26, 2014
Round 5 New Zealand (Wellington) February 7-8, 2014
Round 6 Japan (Tokyo) March 22-23, 2014
Round 7 Hong Kong March 28-30, 2014
Round 8 Scotland (Glasgow) May 3-4, 2014
Round 9 England (London) May 10-11, 2014

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