Experienced New Zealand sevens star DJ Forbes is in line to achieve the all-time tournament appearance record if he runs out at the HSBC Dubai Sevens.

Forbes was named as one of the 12 players to travel to Dubai for the opening round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and currently shares the tournament appearance record of 79 with Samoa's Uale Mai.

The 33-year-old stepped down as captain ahead of the 2015-16 series, with Scott Curry set to lead the side in Dubai. Curry suffered a shoulder injury at the opening round of the series last year, ruling him out of the following nine rounds.

The All Blacks Sevens finished third overall in 2015-16, winning three tournaments in Wellington, Sydney and Vancouver. At the Olympic Games in August, New Zealand finished fifth overall, but captain Curry is keen to get back on track in Dubai.

"The boys are excited about getting out there in Dubai and enjoying our rugby. There is a re-energised buzz in the team and a real feeling of excitement about the upcoming series," he said.

"Those of us who have been around a while have a new enthusiasm for the team and are taking more of a leadership role with the younger guys. It's great to be building a new team environment focused on our goals for the next four years.

"We are hurting from Rio, we have learnt a lot, but you can't dwell on the past. We have been training hard this week and are excited about getting back into tournament mode. We want to capitalise on the exciting new energy in the squad and translate that into success on the field in Dubai."

New Zealand squad: Scott Curry (captain), Tim Mikkelson, Antonio Kiri Kiri, DJ Forbes, Dylan Collier, Beaudein Waaka, Iopu Iopu-Aso, Rocky Khan, Sherwin Stowers, Jonathan Ruru, Isaac Te Tamaki, Sione Molia

England lean on Olympic experience in Dubai

England have named seven Olympians in their 12-man squad to travel to Dubai in hope of improving on their runners-up finish at the tournament in 2015.

Head coach Simon Amor's side were beaten 28-17 by Fiji in the final last December, missing out on their fifth Dubai title. However they will travel to the opening round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17 with seven players used to performing on the Olympic stage.

Captain Tom Mitchell is joined by fellow Olympians Dan Bibby, Phil Burgess, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Ruaridh McConnochie, Dan Norton and James Rodwell, who were all part of Great Britain's silver medal performance in Rio.


England finished eighth overall in the 2015-16 edition of the series, with Dubai their best performance of the 10 rounds. When the men's tournament commences on 2 December, England will face New Zealand, Samoa and Russia in Pool C.

"It is a very physical pool so we need to match that but be smart in playing to our strengths," said Amor. "The first tournament is always an interesting one as new coaches and players bring different styles and create unknown challenges.

“It has been three months or more since the guys have played a competitive tournament. This time has allowed for a good break and for some players to have operations to clear up niggles and work towards full fitness."

England squad: Dan Bibby, Tom Bowen, Phil Burgess, Alex Davis, Richard de Carpentier, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Charlie Hayter, Ruaridh McConnochie, Tom Mitchell (captain), Dan Norton, James Rodwell, Ethan Waddleton