• SBW, Messam set to play in Wellington

    New Zealand Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens hopes to have Sonny Bill Williams and Liam Messam ready for the Wellington Sevens in January.

    Tietjens’ side dropped out of the Cup race at the quarter-final stage of the Cape Town Sevens, eventually losing to the USA in the Plate semi-final. New Zealand were hampered by several injuries at the inaugural tournament, compounding the loss to injury of five players in Dubai the week before.

    Both Williams and Messam should be ready to play in Wellington at the end of January, along with a number of other 15s players. However, the focus now is to have a full quota of players to choose from for their home leg of the Sevens Series.

    ‘I’m certainly going to look forward to having players like Sonny Bill Williams, Liam Messam, Ardie Savea, Ben Lam, Akira and Rieko Ioane,’ Tietjens said. ‘But my real concern is the contracted players that we have now – the Joe Webbers, Tim Mikkelsons and the Scott Currys, Gillies Kakas, Regan Wears – and those players that are out injured now back in New Zealand, that they rehab very, very quickly because we need them back as well.’

    Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images