BY New Zealand's high standards, the past couple of years at the Hong Kong Sevens have been a big disappointment. Blown away by Fiji in the rain-swept 1992 final, the All Blacks failed to reach the final last year when they went down to a Lolani Koko-inspired Western Samoa in the semi-final. One of the big plusses for the All Blacks from those two tournaments, however, was the emergence of Glen Osborne, nephew of the famous New Zealand All Black second five-eighth, Bill Osborne. Bill Osborne made a name for himself in the mid-1970s as a hard-tackling, straight-running inside centre with terrific ball skills and an astute tactical brain. Although Glen, from Wanganui, has yet to reach the heights of his uncle, he is establishing himself as one of the most exciting and accomplished sevens players in the world. Who can forget his one-handed pick-up, without breaking stride, in atrocious conditions at that watery 1992 Sevens, or his ability to surge through a gap in the opponents' defence and accelerate to the line? In an All Black squad featuring six new players, Osborne's skill and the fact that he is a tried hand on the Sevens course makes him a marked man in the eyes of opponents - but that's a problem he is looking forward to facing. ''That is a thing you have to cope with and it will be better for the team if I'm a marked man,'' said Osborne, the 22-year-old North Harbour full-back. ''Sometimes a team will put two people on you but this makes gaps for other players - and we have the players to exploit that. ''This year we have an excellent team; we have youth and experience and new talent and if we play to our full potential we will have as good a chance as anyone. ''I would say the strongest part of the team is the forwards; they are not big and bulky but fast.'' This style of sevens play is epitomised by hooker Eric Rush, the All Black captain here and Osborne's North Harbour team-mate, and prop Dallas Seymour, two veterans of the Hong Kong tournament and two of only four players in this season's squad to have worn the famous Silver Fern in the territory. The other two are half-back Graeme Bachop and Osborne, who can play anywhere in the back line but would prefer the wing if he were given a choice. ''There's more room out there; you can go outside or inside,'' added Osborne. A New Zealand Colt for two years, Osborne's potential was illustrated when he was included in an All Black trial at the age of 19. ''At the moment my main concern is to make sure all the injuries are fully recovered,'' he said. ''Obviously I would love to get the chance to play for the All Blacks but we are concentrating on sevens for the time being and I am not focussed on 15s. ''This is my third Hong Kong Sevens so I'm quite experienced compared to a few of the other guys but not compared to Rushie or Dallas. And Luke Erenavula has played for Fiji for three years here. ''The first year for me was really nervous, as most players would tell you, and the second year was a bit easier because you know what to expect. ''Now I'm in a position to help the younger guys.'' When the panel are selecting the 1994 Best and Fairest Player Award, the name of Glen Osborne will probably feature high on their list.