19th September 11:40 AM
NZ, Australia and South Africa head into Commonwealth Games 7's with their top teams
By Dhanjay Deo
Friday 13/04/2018

Teams like New Zealand, Australia and South Africa will be going in the Commonwealth Games 7's competition with their top teams who did not feature in the recent Hong Kong 7's and will be coming off fresh.

The three sides sent their second string teams in the Hong Kong 7's where both New Zealand and South Africa reached the semis.

Most of the players that featured for Fiji at the Hong Kong event will be playing at Commonwealth Games.

A strong Springbok Sevens squad has been named to defend their Commonwealth Games title in Gold Coast.

The strength and experience of the South Africa men's sevens squad is reflected in the fact that 5 members of the team claimed gold in Glasgow in 2014.

They are Kyle Brown, Justin Geduld, Cecil Afrika, Werner Kok and Branco du Preez.

South Africa is pooled with Scotland, PNG and Malaysia.

The New Zealand men's sevens team knows very well that they are not guaranteed gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Coach Clark Laidlaw knows that, saying that New Zealand's glittering history at the Commonwealth Games "has no bearing" on their chances of winning back that coveted gold medal across the ditch this weekend.

Sevens was introduced to the Commonwealth Games when Kuala Lumpur hosted the first men's tournament in 1998.

New Zealand were winners that year, beating old foes Fiji in the final, and it was their first of four successive Commonwealth titles until South Africa grabbed gold in the final ahead of the Kiwis in Glasgow in 2014.

The New Zealand Rugby Sevens team will have top players like Tim Mikkelson, Scott Curry, Dylan Collier, Sam Dickson, Vilimoni Koroi, Andrew Knewstubb, Kurt Baker and Joe Webber.

New Zealand is pooled with Kenya, Canada and Zambia.

Playing at home, Australia will be tough to beat and the side will have players like Lachlan Anderson, Lewis Holland, Maurice Longbottom, Thomas Lucas, Jesse Parahi and Charlie Taylor.

Australia is pooled with England, Samoa and Jamaica.

Source: Stuff.co, rugby.com.au

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