Rugby Union 2 years ago

Ahki returns to boost All Blacks Sevens

  • Ahki returns to boost All Blacks Sevens

    AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 23: Tendai Mtawarira of the Sharks is tackled by Pita Ahki of the Blues during the round 15 Super Rugby match between the Blues and the Sharks at North Harbour Stadium on May 23, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Pita Ahki's return to the All Blacks Sevens provides a huge boost in experience ahead of this weekend's Hong Kong tournament, coach Gordon Tietjens says.

Ahki returns having last played for New Zealand at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

He was also part of New Zealand's 2013 World Cup sevens-winning team.

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Tietjens says Ahki's inclusion offers a real chance to stake his claim ahead of the Rio Olympics.

"He's very good defensively and a strong attacking player.

"He's in the Hurricanes now, and for them to release him is certainly great moving forward because he's got an opportunity now to really stamp his mark and have a crack at making Rio."

Sonny Bill Williams also returns to the All Blacks Sevens, after recovering from the minor knee injury which kept him out of the Vancouver tournament last month.

The All Blacks Sevens are currently third in the world series, two points behind leaders Fiji.

In Hong Kong, the team will play pool matches agains Samoa, France and Kenya.

All Blacks Sevens: Pita Ahki, Kurt Baker, Sam Dickson, DJ Forbes, Gillies Kaka, Liam Messam, Tim Mikkelson (captain), Sione Molia, Lewis Ormond, Isaac Te Tamaki, Regan Ware, Sonny Bill Williams.

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