New Zealand Women's Sevens squad named for Houston, USA tournament     18 Jan 2013    

Six players from the first tournament in Dubai last year have retained their spots, while Horan has also opted for rugby experience with the inclusion of five 2012 Black Ferns following their end of year tour to England. They are Shakira Baker, Kelly Brazier, Kendra Cocksedge, Halie Hurring, and Selica Winiata.

Horan said he had been impressed with the level of competition among women at the Pub Charity National Sevens held in Queenstown last weekend. An outstanding tournament for Waikato's Honey Hireme saw her earn a first-time call-up to the national squad.

"This Series is getting really exciting. 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," Horan said.

The New Zealand Women's Sevens squad for the Houston tournament is:

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

The team will assemble in Mount Maunganui next week ahead of travelling to the USA for the 1-2 February tournament.

For more information on the IRB Women's World Sevens Series click here.


IRB Women's Sevens World Series:

Round 1 - UAE: Dubai, 30 November-1 December 2012 - (winners: New Zealand)
Round 2 - USA: Houston, Texas, 1-2 February 2013 - BBVA Compass Stadium
Round 3 - China: Guangzhou, 30-31 March 2013 - Guangzhou University Town Stadium
Round 4 - Netherlands: Amsterdam, 17-18 May 2013 - NRCA Stadium

To check out all the news regarding the New Zealand Women's Sevens team, click here.