Baker and Stowers named for NZ Sevens
Kurt Baker and Sherwin Stowers have both been named in Gordon Tietjens' All Black Sevens squad after missing out on Super Rugby contracts.
Tietjens was quick to include the players, who both have World Series experience and were also part of New Zealand's Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning side in 2010.
They form part of the 12-man squad set to travel to rounds two and three of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai and Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
All of Tietjens' experienced core of players - captain DJ Forbes, Tomasi Cama, Tim Mikkelson and Lote Raikabula - are also included, while Auckland wing Ben Lam, another player not wanted by Blues coach John Kirwan, has also been given a chance to impress by Tietjens.
"We were thrilled to finish runners up at Gold Coast last month despite a pretty inexperienced team so we are certainly feeling good heading into Dubai," said the NZ head coach.
"We've got plenty to play for as we didn't make the final last year and Dubai is always a pretty special World Series tournament. It's one of my favourites as I have some fond memories from my early days coaching Sevens there and we haven't won the tournament for some time.
"Last year we bounced back to win at Port Elizabeth, defeating South Africa in a really exciting final so I am sure the hosts will be looking to avenge that loss and we are equally determined to go back-to-back there.
"We've had a great week training in the Mount and everyone has worked hard. It's always a tough call narrowing down the squad, but the depth of talent I've seen this week gives me great confidence in the quality of players we will be able to field this season.
"While Kurt is offshore with the Maori All Blacks I know he is fit and ready to go. And Sherwin certainly proved to me this week he has the fitness, strength and speed to justify selection. I'm thrilled to have them back in the fold and I am sure they will make a valuable contribution.
"It's also been really special working alongside Sean Horan and his New Zealand Women's Sevens team this week and we wish them all the best in Dubai which is the first tournament of the new IRB Women's Sevens World Series."
Two players, Toby Arnold and Mark Jackman, were not considered because of injury, whilst Cama is set to appear in his 50th tournament for New Zealand.
New Zealand face pool matches against reigning Rugby World Cup Sevens champions Wales, next year's RWC Sevens hosts Russia, and RWC Sevens 2009 finalists Argentina on day one at 7he Sevens.
NZ Sevens squad for Dubai and South Africa: Kurt Baker, Tomasi Cama, Scott Curry, Sam Dickson, Tony Ensor, DJ Forbes (capt), Milford Keresoma, Warwick Lahmert, Ben Lam, Tim Mikkelson, Lote Raikabula, Sherwin Stowers, Belgium Tuatagaloa