New Zealand boosted by Black Ferns inclusion
New Zealand’s quest for back-to-back titles on the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series has been boosted by the inclusion of five players from the Black Ferns’ tour to England last month in the squad for the USA round on 1-2 February.
Shakira Baker, Kelly Brazier, Kendra Cocksedge, Halie Hurring and Selica Winiata come into the squad along with newcomer Honey Hireme, who is rewarded for an impressive display in the Pub Charity National Sevens held in Queenstown last weekend.
They join captain Huriana Manuel, Kayla McAlister, Carla Hohepa, Portia Woodman, Sarah Goss and Linda Itunu who were all part of the New Zealand side which swept to victory in the inaugural Women’s Sevens World Series in Dubai last month.
“This Series is getting really exciting,” said Horan. “We know that all teams will have learned a lot from the experience of the Dubai tournament. We’ve selected a squad with size and speed and this squad has a lot of rugby experience which is essential as we continue to build women’s Sevens.
“Houston offers us a great opportunity to develop our talent and depth, particularly as we have an eye on the World Cup in Russia later this year.”
The squad will assemble in Mount Maunganui next week ahead of travelling to Houston, where they will face England, the Netherlands and Trinidad & Tobago in Pool A at the BBVA Compass Stadium.
New Zealand Women’s Sevens squad: Shakira Baker, Kelly Brazier, Kendra Cocksedge, Sarah Goss, Linda Itunu, Honey Hireme, Carla Hohepa, Halie Hurring, Huriana Manuel (captain), Kayla McAlister, Selica Winiata, Portia Woodman.