Sevens rugby runs in family for All Blacks hopeful Liam Blyde

New Zealand Rugby is leaving no stone unturned in search of Olympic Sevens glory, after the men missed a medal in Rio

As well as a 20-strong contracted squad and a nationwide search for sevens hopefuls, there's a tier that sits between them.

And among that development squad pushing for Toyko selection is Liam Blyde - younger brother to Black Ferns sevens star Michaela.

Speed clearly runs in the Blyde family.

"We did a bit of athletics when we were younger," Liam told Newshub.

"I suppose we've just learnt we're a small crew, so we've just figured we needed to be quicker."

That formula has worked for Liam's sister Michaela, who has scored 103 tries in her career on the world circuit.

"What she's done over the past couple of years has been good and inspiring - [she's] shown it's possible to get to that level."

Liam Blyde is one of 28 trialling for 12 development spots, who could be called on by the All Blacks Sevens at any time throughout the 2019 season.

"They used 27 and 28 players over the last two years," said sevens talent and development manager Chad Tuoro.

"We need to have a pool of players outside of the contracted squad, ready to go."

The programme's already had success, with two players earning promotion into Clark Laidlaw's World Cup-winning squad

A ready supply of sevens-hardened players is a necessity, as New Zealand now eye Olympic success  to follow the double World Cup gold of 2018.

"A lot of countries are getting better," Tuoro said. "The need for us to have a pool of players that can perform on the world stage becomes important."

Liam Blyde hopes the development squad takes him a step closer to the Tokyo Games.

"An opportunity like this is perfect for boys who might not be there just yet to get an opportunity to potentially wear a black jersey," Blyde said.

He'll find out later this week whether he'll join his sister Michaela wearing black on the sevens stage.