Nareki makes Hong Kong cut

Jona Nareki
Jona Nareki
Otago winger Jona Nareki is set to make his national sevens debut in Hong Kong next weekend.

Nareki was named in the All Blacks sevens team to play in the Hong Kong Sevens tournament. It is something of a second-string side as the New Zealand team will be on the Gold Coast preparing for the Commonwealth Games tournament.

Nareki was awarded a sevens contract at the end of last season and is based in Tauranga, but he has yet to make a national squad for a tournament in the world series.

Nareki (20) made a promising start to his Otago career last season, scoring nine tries in as many games.

Roger Randle and Aussie McLean will guide the team, with Clarke Laidlaw preparing the Commonwealth Games team.New Zealand Rugby high-performance sevens manager Tony Philp said it was  vital to have experienced coaches lead the group — which includes seven debutants — in Hong Kong.

"The Commonwealth Games is a pinnacle tournament and it was important for us to make sure that squad had the correct preparation, so they are already on the ground in Australia," he said.

"It presented an exciting opportunity for some of the younger players in our contracted squad to form the core of this Hong Kong team, and it was imperative to make sure they have a quality management team around them.

"Roger brings international sevens experience as both a player and a coach, along with Aussie, whose coaching pedigree is top shelf."

Randle says the team has been training well together and are looking forward to getting to Hong Kong.

"We’ve named a strong team for Hong Kong. For a number of these guys it will be the first time they pull on a black jersey and to do that at the Hong Kong Sevens will be an incredible moment for them."

The squad features six players with world-series experience alongside seven debutants.

Amanaki Nicole,  Nareki and Bailey Simonsson are fully contracted with the All Blacks Sevens team, while Salesi Rayasi, Dan Schrijvers, Akuila Rokolisoa and Tima Faingaanuku have been involved in training camps over the past three months.

— Additional reporting NZN


All Blacks sevens

For Hong KongJordan Bunce, Tima Faingaanuku, Rocky Khan, Luke Masirewa, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Jona Nareki, Tone Ng Shiu, Amanaki Nicole, Joe Ravouvou, Salesi Rayasi, Akuila Rokolisoa, Dan Schrijvers, Bailey Simonsson.

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