Haugh named in All Blacks sevens team

Taylor Haugh in action against Kaikorai earlier this year. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Taylor Haugh in action against Kaikorai earlier this year. Photo: Peter McIntosh
University outside back Taylor Haugh has been picked in an All Blacks sevens team to play in the Oceania sevens tournament in Fiji this weekend.

Southland youngster Kendall Buckingham has also been selected in a Black Ferns sevens development side.

Haugh is one of two new caps in the squad, along with Scott Gregory of Northland.

A former King's High School pupil, Haugh impressed while playing for Otago in the last sevens national tournament nearly a year ago and has been on the radar since then.

He came off the bench for Otago in the Mitre 10 Cup in three games and has real speed and guile, a valuable asset in the shortened version of the game.

Other Otago sevens players, Jona Nareki and Vilimoni Koroi, are still resting from the Mitre 10 Cup, with Nareki still getting over an injury when he crushed a testicle in the Ranfurly Shield challenge against Waikato.

The sevens team includes experienced players such as Tim Mikkelson and Scott Curry - although they will not be playing - so it is a big chance for Haugh to mix with some of the seasoned operators in the game.

Coach Clark Laidlaw said the Oceania Sevens was a great chance for the team to get out on the field before the World Series begins at the end of the month.

''We're excited to get back out there. We've had small numbers in pre-season with a lot of guys still with Mitre 10 Cup, but the players we have had are working hard and can't wait to get into some rugby,'' he said.

Dylan Collier and Sam Dickson will captain the team, with regular co-captains Mikkelson and Curry travelling with the team as reserves.

Buckingham makes a raw Black Ferns development side which also includes former Otago Spirit player Janna Vaughan, who now plays for Manawatu.

The Black Ferns sevens development team has experience in the form of Black Ferns Sevens players Shakira Baker, Terina Te Tamaki and Huia Harding.

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