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Experienced Black Ferns Sevens squad selected for Sydney

Experienced Black Ferns Sevens squad selected for Sydney

Invercargill teenager Alena Saili is the only new cap in an experienced Black Ferns Sevens squad selected for the Sydney round of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series next week.

The team is (*new cap):
Sarah Goss (captain)
Michaela Blyde
Kelly Brazier
Theresa Fitzpatrick
Tyla Nathan-Wong
Alena Saili*
Terina Te Tamaki
Ruby Tui
Kat Whata-Simpkins
Renee Wickliffe
Niall Williams
Portia Woodman

Travelling reserves are:
Tenika Willison*
Cheyelle Robins-Reti*

Head Coach Allan Bunting said the Sydney tournament was another opportunity to continue the teams goal for this series of build thier foundations for next year and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

“We had a great start to the series in Dubai, but we know that the rest of the world would have had some very valuable time in preparing for Sydney and that teams will be a lot more prepared, so we will have to take our game to another level to do well. Sydney is about building on the foundations we have created.

“We have decided to provide continuity to most for the players who went to Dubai while giving opportunities to younger players to learn and grow around the experienced ones.

“It’s great to give Alena Saili this oppotunity. Alena impressed hugely at the Nationals a couple of weeks ago and has fitted in really well with the squad, along with Lyric Faleafanga. When she plays she doesn’t look like someone who has just finished school. So I think it is a great opportunity for her to experience the next level, which is quit a step up, with no pressure on her from us, just to go and see and feel what its like and she will adapt and learn when she is ready.

“Both of the travelling reserves, Tenika Willison and Cheyelle Robins-Reti, are also young players we want to expose to international competition. Tenika played in Dubai and went very well so we want to continue to give her continuity. For Chey starting off as a travelling reserve is a good way to get tournament exposure and the opportunity to continue to train with the team and develop in the team environment.

“We enter Sydney off the back of a good start in Dubai, a really encouraging national tournament where a lot of new talent was on display and a great week preparing in Wellington with the wider contracted squad. We are looking forward to getting back out there and putting our learning’s into practice.”


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