Six secondary schools students are among 41 players selected in an extended Wellington Sevens squad.
Wellington Sevens head coach Sam Rasch has announced his squad in the wake of the third and final tournament of the American Ambassador's club sevens series at Ngati Toa Domain on Saturday.
Included in the wider squad are Tai Neli, Jaylen Tuapola (Scots College), Todd Svenson, Kienan Higgins (St Pats Silverstream), Tom Maiava (Wellington College) and Keelan Whitman (St Pats College Town).
The six youngsters are part of a squad that will be whittled down over the next month in the build up to the nationals in Rotorua from January 11 to 15.
Twelve of Wellington's premier clubs are represented in the wider squad including four members of the 2017 American Ambassador's series winning Upper Hutt Rams, as well as 2017 Wellington Lions players James Tuiatua (Marist St Pats), Malo Tuitama (Oriental-Rongotai), and Levi Harmon (Poneke).
Rasch said the size of the squad was a reflection of the depth of talent that had emerged during the series of club tournaments.
"We have selected a wider squad because there was just too much talent to leave out. We will be conducting tests and monitoring players in the coming weeks before trimming the squad further ahead of the Central Regions qualification tournament on December 9."
Before that Rasch will select squads to play in the Tawa Sevens on November 11 and Counties-Manukau Sevens on November 18.
The wider squad will start training this week and are required to meet at North Park in Petone from 5.45pm on Tuesday (November 7).
Any player who is unavailable or unable to attend training should contact team manager Mike Parker on 027 526 7618 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wellington Sevens Wider Training Squad is: James Tuiatua, Matt Peni, Michael Buckley, Saia Paese, Ryan Setefano, Willie Schultz (Marist St Pats), Paddy Hughes, Olly Sapsford, Dale Sabbagh (Wellington), Brandyn Laursen (HOBM), Jake Walmsley, Romu Senilebu, Verani Komaisavai (Johnsonville), Daniel Schrijvers, Hayden Schrijvers, Jack Wright, Owen Karati (Upper Hutt Rams), Malachi Unasa, Sione Ma'u, Malo Tuitama, Reuben Va'a (Oriental-Rongotai), Losi Filipo, Jake Quinn (Petone), Roy Maiava (Paremata-Plimmerton), Levi Harmon, Jimmy Hewitt (Poneke), Randall Bishop, Telea Seumanatafa, PJ Iosefo (Tawa), Esi Komaisavai, Leon Ellison, Fala Tuala, Te Kahui Bishop, Luke Bowden (Northern United), Nash Fiso (Wainuiomata), Tai Neli, Jaylen Tuapola (Scots College), Todd Svenson, Kienan Higgins (St Pats Silverstream), Tom Maiava (Wellington College), Keelan Whitman (St Pats College Town).
November 11: Tawa 7s
November 18: Counties 7s
December 9: Central Regions Qualifier
January 5-7: Mount Manganui 7s
January 11-15: Nationals Rotorua