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Sonny Bill Williams, Liam Messam named in All Blacks Sevens squad

All Blacks Sonny Bill Williams and Liam Messam have their eyes on Rio 2016 after being named in New Zealand's Sevens squad for 2015-16.

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All Blacks Sonny Bill Williams and Liam Messam have their eyes on Rio 2016 after being named in New Zealand's Sevens squad for 2015-16.

The two Test regulars have committed to the Sevens format, making themselves available for all World Series tournaments and not playing Super Rugby.

New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens was delighted to have Williams and Messam ahead of the Olympics, where Sevens will be played for the first time.

"We know what Liam can do and he will certainly give us some new options up front. He's a hugely experienced sevens player having won two Commonwealth Games gold medals and been part of Sevens World Series-winning New Zealand teams," he said in a statement.

"Sonny Bill Williams is a great athlete and has shown he can adapt very easily to the demands of rugby.

"I see him adjusting very well to the fast pace of sevens. He'll be a great attacking weapon with his speed, strength and uncanny ability to offload.

"We're really pleased he's committed to the full season. He knows competition for places will be intense so he's giving himself the best chance of making the team for Rio."

The duo's decision is a huge blow to the Chiefs, who had both Williams and Messam in their ranks in 2015.

Loose forwards Ardie Savea and Akira Ioane are the other two new faces in the squad from last season.

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