Melbourne 2006: 7s Squads Set

New Zealand has picked seven Super 14 players, including All Blacks winger Doug Howlett, in its squad for the Commonwealth Games Rugby 7s in Melbourne.New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens was also able to call up former Sevens captain Liam Messam and sevens regular Onosa'i Tololima-Auva'a.The side will be captained by Hawke's Bay loose forward Tafai Ioasa, who has led the team since the IRB Sevens tournament in Dubai last December. The squad of 12 includes five players - Blackie, Ellison, Ioasa, Latimer and Messam - who were at the 2005 IRB Rugby Sevens World Cup in Hong Kong.It also includes three - Cory Jane, Lote Raikabula and Onosa'i Tololima-Auva'a - who made their New Zealand sevens debut at the 2006 International Sevens in Wellington.New Zealand is seeded first in the tournament in Melbourne, but they are experiencing one of their worst seasons on record, with current form leaving them ranked fourth in the IRB Sevens competition. They sit behind South Africa, England and Fiji, all three of whom will stand in the way of a continuation of their unbeaten streak in Commonwealth Rugby 7s competition.Fiji's squad (12): Apolosi, Dale Tonawai, Naevo, Sireli Naqelevuki, Viliame Satala, Serevi, Jone Daunivucu, Norman Ligairi, Neumi Nanuku, Filimoni Bolavucu, Lepani Nabuliwaqa and William Ryder. Non-travelling reserves are Marika Vunibaka, Epeli Dranivasa, Mosese Volavola and Timoci Volavola.England's squad (15): Simon Amor (captain, Gloucester), Danny Care (Leeds Tykes), Ben Gollings (Sunnybank, Australia), Richard Haughton (Saracens), Dan Luger (unattached), Magnus Lund (Sale Sharks), Nils Mordt (London Irish), Ben Lewitt (Northampton Saints), Henry Paul (Gloucester), Ben Russell (Saracens), David Seymour (Saracens), David Strettle (Rotherham), Mathew Tait (Newcastle Falcons), Tom Varndel (Leicester Tigers), Andy Vilk (Northampton Saints).An online poll on the International Rugby Board's website considers the Australian and Fijian sides the strongest:Which side has the strongest Commonwealth Games squad? New Zealand:18.7%Fiji:25.2%England:10.5%Australia:32.9%Other:12.7%
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