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Tietjens recalls Fijian duo

Rashneel Kumar
Monday, January 20, 2014

FIJIANS Waisake Naholo and David Raikuna have been recalled to the New Zealand 7s team following injuries to two key players.

Naholo and Raikuna replace Sherwin Stowers and Joe Webber, respectively, for the Las Vegas 7s tournament.

Lote Raikabula is the other Fiji-born player in Gordon Tietjens' side which is pooled with Fiji, Australia and Scotland in the tournament starting this Saturday.

Earlier Tietjens was forced to drop star playmaker Tomasi Cama, who suffered a calf injury at training.

"He (Cama) is certainly the best half back in the world in Sevens and having him injured is a real concern but he will bounce back and at the same time we are building depth," Tietjens told IRB.com.

"Gillies Kaka I am sure will step up to that role.

"He was the best player at Rugby World Cup in Russia and we have very capable Mark Jackman as well who can thrive in that position."

The All Blacks 7s have yet to win the Las Vegas leg of the world series after five attempts, with their last US success back in 2008 when they won the San Diego Sevens

"We have played consistently well there so it's not that we don't play well there, it comes down to those defining moments that decide whether you win or lose," Tietjens said.

"We have to use different tactics because there is not as much width on the field so there is a lot more contact and I have picked a side that is very strong and very big and hopefully they can do the work for us."

Veteran DJ Forbes retains the captain's armband as he will lead his warriors at the Las Vegas 7s.

New Zealand team: Scott Curry, Ambrose Curtis, Sam Dickson, DJ Forbes (capt), Bryce Heem, Mark Jackman, Gillies Kaka, Tim Mikkelson, Lote Raikabula, Waisake Naholo, George Tilsley, David Raikuna.





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