Sonny Bill set for sevens debut

Sonny Bill Williams has been included along with three rookies in the New Zealand Sevens squad for the Wellington leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series.

The injury-hit New Zealanders have had to reshuffle their squad, with Williams headlining the 22-man group that will be looking to get their season back on track.

Besides Williams, coach Gordon Tietjens has also brought in the Counties Manukau pair of Josh Van Lieshout and Sione Molia, as well as Hawke's Bay's Billy Ropiha. Veteran Kurt Baker also returns to the sevens set-up.

Injured players Scott Curry, Declan O'Donnell, DJ Forbes and Sherwin Stowers were not considered for selection, while Liam Messam is still unavailable due to rugby commitments in Japan.

The Wellington tournament takes place on the weekend of 30-31 January.

New Zealand Sevens squad: Kurt Baker, Dylan Collier, Sam Dickson, Akira Ioane, Rieko Ioane, Gillies Kaka, Antonio Kiri Kiri, Ben Lam, Josh Van Lieshout, Tim Mikkelson, Sione Molia, Lewis Ormond, Augustine Pulu, Billy Ropiha, Ardie Savea, Teddy Stanaway, Isaac Te Aute, Isaac Te Tamaki, Beaudein Waaka, Regan Ware, Sonny Bill Williams, Joe Webber.

Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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Craig Lewis