New Zealand sevens rugby coach Gordon Tietjens has unveiled a 20-strong training squad to prepare for the 2012-13 world series.

Tietjens said he was looking forward to putting the players through their paces after watching the London Olympics. Sevens is on the Olympic programme for the first time at the 2016 Games at Rio de Janiero.

"The success of our athletes has been really inspiring and I am sure their performances will be a great motivator for the players," Tietjens said in a statement.

His squad will attend a camp in Mt Maunganui from Monday to Wednesday next week before being reduced in size for the first tournament of the series, on Australia's Gold Coast on October 13-14. That is followed by a tournament in La Plata, Argentina a week later.

"We're giving some new players an opportunity to show us what they can do in a Sevens environment given the unavailability of some players from last year for the first two tournaments of the season," Tietjens said.

New Zealand sevens rugby training squad:

Jacob Ale (Waikato), Mark Atkins (Otago), Tomasi Cama (Manawatu), Sam Dickson (Canterbury), DJ Forbes (Counties Manukau), Willis Halaholo (Auckland), Kolio Hifo (Canterbury), Joe Hill (Wellington), Mark Jackman (Canterbury), Warwick Lahmert (Taranaki), Rhys Lewellyn (Canterbury), Tevita Li (North Harbour), Tim Mikkelson (Waikato), Kylem O'Donnell (Taranaki), Willie Paia'aua (Manawatu), Lote Raikabula (Wellington), Belgium Tuatagaloa (Wellington), Joe Tupe (Auckland), Gareth William-Spiers (Auckland), Jamie Verran (Canterbury).

NZ Newswire

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