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All Blacks Sevens' new generation of stars leading team out of tough times with World Cup win

Today’s Sevens World Cup win brings back memories of the All Blacks Sevens of old, but this is the new generation of Kiwi sevens stars.

The new-look team shaking off the horrors of a failed 2016 campaign at the Rio Olympics is being led by a man who's completely transformed the programme in under two years.

All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw added World Cup winner to his resume today after the Commonwealth Games win earlier this year.

The Kiwis beat England in the final of the San Francisco tournament. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's a good feeling, isn't it?" He admitted after the final.

"It's a feeling that comes on the back of a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice with everybody involved and we're all just hugely proud of the performance we put in this weekend."

The All Black Sevens rookie is in disbelief at how radically his world has changed this year. Source: 1 NEWS

The victory is testament to the depth of talent in New Zealand with rookies such as Akuila Rokolisoa proving their worth in the squad just as much as the veterans.

Rokolisoa came off the bench to score a crucial try in the final but he wasn't even part of the squad at the start of the year.

Up 19-12, the injury replacement sealed the final and his second gold medal since debuting in Hong Kong the week before the Commonwealth Games with a somersault under the posts.

Fellow Fijian Joe Ravouvou debuted last year and was the tournament standout, leaving San Francisco as the top try-scorer with six to his name and world cup MVP.

Then there's rising star Trael Joass.

Doctors said Joass’ life was at risk if he continued to play sevens, but coming back from heart surgery, he's now one of the best in the world.

Joass said the experience helped him on and off the pitch.

"It taught me a lot and to get back up when times are tough and they don't hang around forever."

Those at the top, like NZ Rugby chief executive Steve Tew, are hoping the team's tough times are over.

"I saw [NZ win the world cup] in Moscow and I thought it was a once in a lifetime event," he said.

"These guys today were just outstanding I thought those two matches were just brilliant."

While those who've now won two world cups like Tim Mikkelson, are happy to leave a piece of history behind in San Francisco, the first timers will take in as much of this moment as they can and cherish these memories forever.

Under Clark Laidlaw’s new programme, the men’s team has resurfaced after a tough 2016 Olympics campaign. Source: 1 NEWS


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