La’auli’s son makes All Blacks Sevens debut

The son of Manu Samoa and All Blacks legend Sir La’auli Michael Jones is set to make his international debut at the Oceania Sevens this weekend.

Niko Jones  has been named to the All Blacks Sevens squad for the tournament a year after signing a contract with the programme straight out of high-school.

After leading St. Peter’s College to the national secondary school title in 2018, Jones got injured while playing for the All Blacks Sevens Development side, meaning he couldn’t make his debut during the 2019 season.

Jones is one of four potential debutants named in the Oceania Sevens squad, along with Te Rangaira Waitokia, Jamie Spowart and William Warbrick.

While the tournament is an Olympic qualifier for the region, New Zealand have already booked a spot at Tokyo 2020 thanks to their third place finish on the 2019 World Rugby Sevens Series.

Coach Clark Laidlaw said the Oceania Sevens was a great opportunity for the young players, including Jones, to gain international experience.

“Pre-season tournaments allow us to give younger players some good exposure. It’s a genuine opportunity for us to build depth; we’ve got a long season ahead of us so its important.

“We’ve got a good balance, some of the older players are hungry for game time so they are looking forward to getting out there and seeing them alongside some of our developing players is great,” said Laidlaw.

 

All Blacks Sevens team (*denotes debut)

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Kurt Baker                               Manawatu

Dylan Collier                           Waikato

Scott Curry                              Bay of Plenty

Taylor Haugh                          Otago

Trael Joass                              Tasman

Niko Jones*                            Auckland

Ngarohi McGarvey-Black     Bay of Plenty

Tim Mikkelson                         Waikato

Amanaki Nicole                      Canterbury

Akuila Rokolisoa                     Counties Manukau

Jamie Spowart*                      Tasman

Te Rangatira Waitokia*          Manawatu

William Warbrick*                   Bay of Plenty

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