Sonny Bill and Niall Williams make Rio Olympics squads
Last Updated: 03/07/16 3:45pm
Sonny Bill and Niall Williams have been named in New Zealand's sevens teams to compete at the Rio de Janiero Olympics.
Sonny Bill Williams' inclusion in the 12-strong men's squad gives him a chance to add an Olympic medal to his two Rugby World Cup-winner's medals and his titles in Super Rugby as well as Australia's National Rugby League.
Niall Williams, a mother of two, a twin and one of four Williams siblings, has been named by coach Sean Horan in the women's squad which is seeded second behind Australia in the Olympic tournament.
Rugby was last contested at the Olympics, in its 15-a-side form, 92 years ago when the United States beat France in the gold-medal match.
The men's team will be captained by Scott Curry who returns to the side for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury in December. The notable omission is of Williams' All Blacks team-mate Liam Messam, who had left 15s to concentrate on Olympics selection.
The men's team also includes brothers Reiko and Akira Ioane.
New Zealand have won the World Sevens Series 12 times since it was created in 1999, but the past season has been one of their most difficult after they finished third behind Fiji and South Africa due to a heavy injury toll and the unavailability of leading players.
The New Zealand women have been drawn Pool B of their tournament with France, Kenya and Spain while the men are in Pool C with Great Britain, Kenya and Japan.
New Zealand men: Scott Curry (c), Sam Dickson, D.J. Forbes, Akira Ioane, Rieko Ioane, Gillies Kaka, Tim Mikkelson, Augustine Pulu, Teddy Stanaway, Regan Ware, Joe Webber, Sonny Bill Williams.
New Zealand women: Shakira Baker, Kelly Brazier, Gayle Broughton, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Sarah Goss (c), Kayla McAlister, Huriana Manuel, Tyla Nathan-Wong, Terina Te Tamaki, Ruby Tui, Niall Williams, Portia Woodman.