Winger Clarke to bid for Tokyo Gold

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM May 11 2021

All Blacks winger Caleb Clarke, who lit up international rugby with an eye-catching debut season last year, has put his hand up for selection in New Zealand’s Olympic rugby sevens team for the Tokyo Games.

Explosive 22-year-old Clarke and Waikato Chiefs outside back Etene Nanai-Seturo, return to the country’s sevens programme after an aborted bid last year when the Games were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“They’ve been a big part of our team over the past two or three years, so it feels quite natural them coming back into our environment,” New Zealand sevens coach Clark Laidlaw said in a statement.

 “The communication and connection have stayed strong in this period, so now it’s about realigning them with how we are doing things and get them back up to speed with our game.” Clarke followed his father Eroni into the All Blacks last year after a strong domestic season with the Auckland Blues, and earned immediate comparisons with the late Jonah Lomu as he burst through defences with power and speed. 

Clarke and Nanai-Seturo will hope to impress Olympic selectors against Australia’s sevens team later this month before another Oceania-based tournament expected in June. (Reuters)

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM May 11 2021

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