Rugby: New Zealand rugby sevens team hit Rock Bottom with invite to Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson takes the stage during the 2016 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, on April 9, 2016.
Dwayne Johnson takes the stage during the 2016 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, on April 9, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Rugby star Sonny Bill Williams is asking for help as the New Zealand rugby sevens team faces a mounting injury crisis.

But while things have not exactly hit rock bottom for the All Blacks, Williams choice of a new recruit is sure to raise eyebrows: Hollywood and wrestling icon Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

Last week, the 43-year-old Johnson tweeted that he "played rugby as a kid" in New Zealand, where he lived for a short time with his mother's family and said it was the "Toughest sport I've ever done."

Johnson is of both Nova Scotian and Samoan decent and briefly lived in Auckland with his mother's side of the family before returning back to the United States with his parents.

Williams responded on Monday (April 25) with a cheeky invite and tweeted: "we got a few boys injured atm, keen 4 a run?"

Johnson, who will star in the upcoming 'Baywatch' film and has featured in other films like San Andreas and the Fast & Furious franchise, replied jokingly that "Just say the word and I'll come running. Don't know how far, but I'll come running."

Running is certainly an issue for the All Blacks Sevens squad, currently depleted by injuries to key personnel with two legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series remaining and the Olympic Games in Rio less than four months away.

Prior to the Singapore Sevens earlier this month, New Zealand were forced to call up replacements after captain Tim Mikkelson (ankle), Pita Ahki (shoulder), Sam Dickson (leg) and Lewis Ormond (foot) all withdrew.

The All Blacks, 12-time champions of the Sevens Series, had a disappointing campaign in Singapore. They finished sixth and lost to Samoa in the plate final.

It meant New Zealand dropped to third in the overall standings as the season reaches its conclusion in Paris and London next month.

The Olympics in Brazil kicks off on August 5 and will be the debut for the sport of rugby sevens.

New Zealand, who have won back-to-back Rugby World Cups (the 15-a-side rugby union version), are among the favourites alongside Fiji and South Africa for the gold medal in Brazil.