Etene Nanai-Seturo named in All Blacks Sevens squad for Hamilton leg

Nanai-Seturo is currently under contract with the New Zealand Warriors.
Nanai-Seturo is currently under contract with the New Zealand Warriors. Photo credit: Photosport

All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw has named Etene Nanai-Seturo in his squad for the home leg of the Men's Sevens Series.

The 18-year-old's been subject to a tug-of-war battle between New Zealand Rugby and the Warriors, who he is under contract with.

Nanai-Seturo is joined by Blues youngster, Caleb Clarke as players to watch out for in Hamilton, according to Laidlaw.

"We always said these two weeks were about giving younger players an opportunity, even though they are two big tournaments," he said.

"There were glimpses from both of them in the weekend that they can play at this level, which is really exciting  they are two 18-year-old's playing sevens for the first time.

"This is the last tournament before we name the wider squad for the Commonwealth Games so for Caleb and Etene to be in the 12 and get game time is important."

Laidlaw made two changes from the team that finished fifth in Sydney last weekend, with Joe Webber coming in for the injured Andrew Knewstubb, and Clarke pushing veteran Kurt Baker to 13th man.

Laidlaw admits their results across the Tasman were below expectations, but is confident they have learned from their mistakes.

"Our game is settling down now and we understand what works for us," he said.

"Sometimes we fall back into bad habits; the game against Australia we made a few decisions and let them get momentum in the game.

"That is frustrating but the way e bounced back showed were was a real hunger in the team to play well.

"We want to win a World Series so every point you play for crucial."

New Zealand have been grouped with France, Scotland and Argentina for the Hamilton tournament and Laidlaw is taking a cautious approach.

"We're realistic, they are three good teams that can beat anyone. Day One will be hard to find rhythm because they are physical teams that like to challenge the break the game open," he said.

ALL BLACKS SEVENS

Scott Curry (co-captain), Tim Mikkelson (co-captain), Teddy Stanaway, Joe Ravouvou, Luke Masiwera, Vilimoni Koroi, Sam Dickson, Caleb Clarke, Regan Ware, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Joe Webber, Sione Molia, Kurt Baker.

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