Gordon Tietjens has named an experience squad to prepare for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The squad features the inclusion of Kurt Baker and Pita Ahki who were both members of the All Blacks Sevens squad that won last year’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.
“To go to a Commonwealth Games and do well you need players with experience,” said Tietjens.
“I’ve selected three Super Rugby players who have played well for the team. Kurt Baker was important in terms of winning that gold medal in Delhi and Pita Ahki did well for the All Blacks Sevens in Russia so both are fine sevens players.
“Adam Whitelock was part of the very successful two tournaments in Glasgow and London in the World Series and he has done enough to press for a place to go to the Games as well.”
But competition will be tough, as Tietjens will narrow his squad down to 12 before they head to the Games.
“It’s on the wish list for a lot of players to be part of a Commonwealth Games side so no doubt the camp next week will be very fierce in terms of competition and I expect to have a huge headache to pick the 12 players who I think can win us that gold medal, but it’s a pleasant headache to have.”
NZ squad: Pita Ahki, Kurt Baker, Tomasi Cama, Scott Curry, Ambrose Curtis, Sam Dickson, DJ Forbes, Jack Goodhue, Bryce Heem, Akira Ioane, Gilles Kaka, Ben Lam, Tim Mikkelson, Declan O’Donnell, Lote Raikabula, Sherwin Stowers, Joe Webber, Adam Whitelock.