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Fuata’i has been picked for the team to play in the final two tournaments of the world series in Paris next week and then London the following weekend.
New Zealand has been badly hit with injury and more than half a dozen players are unavailable for the Paris tournament.Fuata’i (23) impressed for Otago last season, playing 10 of the 12 games and has been training on and off with the Highlanders this season.
The University captain will be keen to get on to the field for New Zealand after a failed start a couple of years ago.
He was selected in a sevens camp but hurt his shoulder which eventually led to him having an operation and missing all of the 2015 season.
Fuata’i has good pace and is a strong defender and will need it for a New Zealand team which has been stripped of plenty of talent.
Along with Fuata’i, Jesse Houston, of Canterbury, and Jamie Booth, of Manawatu, have been named in the New Zealand team.
Booth, a nippy halfback, played one game for the Highlanders last year.
The team will be captained by DJ Forbes and also includes experienced players Sherwin Stowers and Tim Mikkelson.
Those unavailable include Scott Curry (concussion), Dylan Collier (knee), Ipou Ipou-Aso (wrist), Joe Ravouvou (knee), Isaac Te Tamaki (knee) and Beaudein Waaka (broken leg).
Otago youngster Vilimoni Koroi will miss the final two tournaments as he gets ready for club rugby and preparing for the 15s season for Otago.
New Zealand will take on Wales, Argentina and the United States in pool play in Paris.
DJ Forbes, Jamie Booth, Sam Dickson, Fa’asiu Fuata’i, Jesse Houston, Trael Joass, Rocky Khan, Tim Mikkelson, Sione Molia, Tone Ng Shiu, Lewis Ormond, Sherwin Stowers, Regan Ware, Joe Webber.