Fresh from their inaugural HSBC Hamilton Sevens victory, the Black Ferns Sevens are ready to back up when they take the field in Sydney tomorrow.
Coaches Allan Bunting and Cory Sweeney have made two changes to the team for the HSBC Sydney Sevens.
The Black Ferns Sevens team is;
1. Ruby Tui
2. Tenika Willison
3. Stacey Fluhler (nee Waaka)
4. Niall Williams
5. Sarah Hirini – Captain
6. Michaela Blyde
7. Tyla Nathan-Wong
8. Kelly Brazier
9. Gayle Broughton
10. Theresa Fitzpatrick
11. Shiray Kaka
12. Alena Saili
*Jazmin Hotham is the 13th player (and will make her debut if used as an injury replacement)
Black Ferns Sevens Co-Coach Cory Sweeney said recovery has been paramount this week as the team prepare for back-to-back tournaments.
“This is the second back to back tournament for us so it’s still relatively new, we learnt a bit from the last one around how recovery is so important. So that’s been the focus and I think the team are in a good place going into tomorrow.”
Changes see Tenika Willison and Shiray Kaka come in for Risaleeana Pouri-Lane and Mahina Paul, Sweeney indicating the importance of game time for squad members.
“We have a few halfbacks in our squad and this weekend Tenika gets her opportunity, she is a strong distributor and we are wanting to see her utelise those skills. Shiray has great footwork and speed, she will be hard to contain out on the edge.”
Jazmin Hotham comes in as the 13th player and will make her Black Ferns Sevens debut if needed as an injury replacement.
“Jazz is an exciting prospect. She was a superstar school-girl player and is somebody that has the ability to stay in the game, she knows the game well and given the chance she will perform,” said Sweeney.
The Black Ferns Sevens face Japan, Russia and England in pool play. The HSBC Sydney Sevens has a truncated schedule with no quarter-finals, meaning teams must top their pool to progress to semi finals.
– The Black Ferns Sevens won the HSBC Sydney Sevens in 2019, their only victory at the tournament.
– The Black Ferns Sevens sit first on the World Series standings, 12 points ahead of Australia in second.
-The Black Ferns Sevens have scored the most points (650) and the most tries (104) on the World Series.
– Stacey Fluhler (nee Waaka) has been named in three of the four Dream Team’s this season and has been named Player of the Final in Dubai and Hamilton.
– Stacey Fluhler is the highest try scorer, with 25, Ruby Tui is the Series’ leading tackler with 60.
-The Black Ferns Sevens are finalists for Team of the Year at the Halberg Awards next month.
HSBC Sydney Sevens matches
Saturday 1 February
12.36pm v Japan
6.14pm v Russia
Sunday 2 February
11.51am v England
Watch the HSBC Sydney Sevens on Sky Sports 1
Black Ferns Sevens 2019/2020 schedule
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 5-6 October, Glendale – THIRD PLACE
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 5-7 December, Dubai – WINNERS
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 13-15 December, Cape Town – WINNERS
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 25-26 January, Hamilton – WINNERS
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 1-2 February, Sydney
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 3-5 April, Hong Kong
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 2-3 May, Langford
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 30-31 May, Paris
2020 Tokyo Olympics, 30 July – 1 August, Tokyo