TWO All Blacks Sevens players with links to Eastern Bay have inked deals with the national side.
Dylan Collier, originally from Opotiki, has penned a two-year-deal alongside William Warbrick, who was born in raised in Kawerau before playing club rugby for Te Teko.
Bay of Plenty rugby product, and Red Bull Ignite7 alumni, Warbrick joins the All Blacks Sevens for the first time, signing a two-year contract, after spending the pre-season training with the squad.
Three weeks out from the start of the All Blacks Sevens’ 2019/2020 season, coach Clark Laidlaw is putting the finishing touches on a 24-strong squad.
Laidlaw spoke highly of the potential that 20-year-old Warbrick brings to sevens.
“William is a young, exciting talent that is really untapped. He has the size, speed, is good in the air and the ability to play several positions.
“What really impressed us though was his work rate, he joined us during the pre-season and brought an effort every day that excited the coaches and senior players,” Laidlaw said.
Senior player Collier is not new to the Sevens arena having featured numerous times before, while team-mates Andrew Knewstubb and Tone Ng Shiu also recommitted.
After debuting in 2015, 27-year-old Collier has gone on to play 34 tournaments, including last year’s victories at the Commonwealth Games and World Cup Sevens.
“It’s crucial for us to sign guys like Dylan, Tone and Andrew because they will be a big part of transitioning the team post-Olympics.
“All three are young enough and hungry enough to keep improving and they have been absolute stand-out players for us in the past year,” Laidlaw said.
The All Blacks Sevens travel to Dubai in two weeks for their first tournament of the season as defending champions.
It is the first of 10 tournaments on the HSBC World Series before the Tokyo Olympic Games in July.