Injuries Force Changes to New Zealand Squad
The New Zealand Sevens team has called in two replacement players to the squad which will travel to San Diego on Monday for the fourth stop in the IRB World Sevens Series and is monitoring the condition of two other players.
2009 New Zealand Sevens squad members Chad Tuoro (Counties Manukau) and Nigel Hunt (Bay of Plenty) have been called up to replace Edwin Cocker and Tomasi Cama respectively.
The New Zealand team had a run of injuries during the NZI Sevens in Wellington on Friday and Saturday, with Cocker (broken leg) ruled out for at least six weeks and Cama (knee injury) out for the San Diego tournament at least. Nafi Tuitavake is also being monitored after suffering an ankle injury prior to the final while captain DJ Forbes was diagnosed with an injury to his left foot which required treatment after day one of the Wellington tournament.
After battling back from a shock opening game loss to Wales, the New Zealand team were pipped on the final whistle by England in the NZI Sevens decider on Saturday night. New Zealand and England are now tied for second spot with 44 points in the IRB World Series standings, four points behind series leader South Africa.
Tietjens said the NZI Sevens campaign had been one of the toughest he has experienced with injuries, a suspension and a tough playoffs draw putting pressure on the home team.
“We always want to do well at home so the team is gutted that we came close but didn’t finish on top. That said, we faced a lot of adversity in the tournament and our guys, particularly our newer squad members, would have learned a lot from that experience.”
The team will depart from Wellington for the USA on Monday evening. The San Diego leg of the IRB Sevens World Series takes place on February 14-15.
New Zealand Sevens squad: DJ Forbes (Captain, Counties Manukau), Paul Grant (Otago), Nigel Hunt (Bay of Plenty), Zar Lawrence (Bay of Plenty), Tim Nanai Williams (Counties Manukau), Tim Mikkelson (Waikato), Lote Raikabula (Manawatu), Save Tokula (Waikato), Nafi Tuitavake (North Harbour), Chad Tuoro (Counties Manukau), Tu Umaga Marshall (Wellington), Viliame Waqaseduadua (North Harbour).
Note: Any additional changes to the squad will be advised prior to the team’s departure on Monday.
For further information contact:
NZRU Communications Manager
M: 027 229 5380