The Black Ferns Sevens have rung in four changes to their squad to play the final tournament of the 2016/2017 HSBC Word Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in Clermont-Ferrand, France, next weekend, June 23-25.
The Black Ferns Sevens are currently first in the overall standings and need to finish 7th or higher to take out the 2016/2017 World Series. New Zealand has won the Women’s World Series on three previous occasions and came second to Australia last year. Speedster Michaela Blyde is currently the top overall try scorer for the series.
Gayle Broughton and Terina Te Tamaki re-enter the playing 12 where they are joined by Tayla Reti for the first time. Reti only started playing Sevens earlier this year after being discovered through the Go For Gold programme which identifies new sevens talent to develop for the Olympic Games in 2020. The fourth change is Tenika Willison who will be a travelling reserve.
The team is:
Tyla Nathan-Wong (captain) - Auckland
Shakira Baker - Waikato
Michaela Blyde - Bay of Plenty
Gayle Broughton - Taranaki
Jess Drummond - Tasman
Crystal Mayes - Manawatu
Tayla Reti - Manawatu
Alena Saili - Southland
Terina Te Tamaki - Waikato
Ruby Tui - Canterbury
Kat Whata-Simpkins - Wellington
Niall Williams - Auckland
Rebekah Cordero-Tufuga - Manawatu
Tenika Willison - Waikato
Black Ferns Sevens Head Coach Allan Bunting said the team is not taking anything for granted heading into the final tournament of the series.
“France is another opportunity to be build our foundations for the next few years preparing for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. We are focused on fronting every challenge, being courageous, expressing ourselves and making the most of every opportunity. We have a purpose of leaving mana in France.
“With a number of experienced players preparing for the fifteens Women’s World Cup, Clermont-Ferrand provides another chance to give other players experience at the next level. Tayla Reti has only been in our environment a short time but has shown real determination and courage to learn and grow at every opportunity and has earnt her chance to wear the black jersey.
“With the Commonwealth Games and Sevens World Cup next year it is important that we continue to develop depth and foundations in our squad.
“Day one will be a tough one. Our immediate focus is our first game against a very fit and determined Japan. Ireland is improving fast and had a very strong tournament in Canada and USA can beat anyone when they get things right.”
Saturday 24 June 2017
10.22 pm Saturday 24 June NZT v Japan
1.06 am Sunday 25 June NZT v Ireland
3.50am Sunday 25 June NZT v USA
Sunday 25 June 2017
Finals Day will start late evening on Sunday 25 June and conclude early morning on Monday 26 June NZT
Information on World Rugby HSBC Clermont-Ferrand Women’s World Sevens Series Tournament
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