SBW off to Rio, Messam misses cut

2:18 AM GMT

All Blacks star Liam Messam has missed out on a spot in New Zealand’s Sevens squad for the Rio Olympics.

The veteran back-rower was the big-name omission, albeit largely expected, when Sir Gordon Tietjens unveiled his 12-man squad on Sunday.

But Sonny Bill Williams will continue his amazing sporting story after he was included alongside fellow 15s convert Augustine Pulu.

Brothers Akira and Reiko Ioane, who play for the Blues in Super Rugby, have also secured a plane ticket while former skipper DJ Forbes is on his way to Brazil despite handing over the captaincy to Scott Curry late last year.

Proud family moment, me and this sis are going to the Olympics! #Alhumdulliah

— Sonny Bill Williams (@SonnyBWilliams) July 3, 2016

“To go to the Olympic Games which is the best sporting event in the world will be quite special,” Tietjens said. “It’s going to be a challenging environment for all of us and all the teams as it’s such a new experience.

“Every player has been selected because they’ve performed well during the Sevens Series and in the training camps since then so have earned their position. Sevens is very competitive, so it’s important that we perform and if we perform to our potential, we’ll have a really good chance of succeeding in Rio.”

The women’s squad was also unveiled, headed by Portia Woodman, while Sonny Bill’s sister, Niall, also earned a spot making it a family affair for the Williams in Rio.

Men’s squad: Scott Curry (captain), Sam Dickson DJ Forbes, Akira Ioane, Rieko Ioane, Gillies Kaka, Tim Mikkelson, Augustine Pulu, Teddy Stanaway, Regan Ware, Joe Webber, Sonny Bill Williams. Travelling reserves: Sione Molia, Lewis Ormond.

Women’s Squad: Shakira Baker, Kelly Brazier, Gayle Broughton, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Kayla McAlister, Huriana Manuel, Tyla Nathan-Wong, Terina Te Tamaki, Ruby Tui, Niall Williams, Portia Woodman. Travelling reserves: Michaela Blyde, Shiray Tan.

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