NZ Women's Sevens team for Amsterdam     08 May 2014    

The team is:

Chelsea Alley* (Waikato)
Kelly Brazier (Otago)
Shiray Tane (Waikato)
Sarah Goss (Manawatu)
Carla Hohepa (Waikato)
Linda Itunu (Auckland)
Kayla McAlister (Auckland)
Huriana Manuel (Auckland)
Tyla Nathan-Wong (Auckland)
Jordon Webber (Waikato)
Katarina Whata-Simpkins (Wellington)
Portia Woodman (Auckland)

*new cap

Injury ruled out Shakira Baker (knee), Gayle Broughton (hamstring), Hazel Tubic (hamstring), Vaine Greig (knee), Ruby Tui (knee). Honey Hireme was unavailable for family reasons.

Gayle Broughton is bracketed with Shiray Tane as she is recovering from a hamstring injury.

New Zealand currently leads the 2013/2014 series by two points from Australia after winning its second tournament of the season at the recent China Sevens.

“We’re defending champions and two points ahead so we are looking forward to the challenge,” said Horan. “It’s all at stake and it’s a great opportunity to develop our strategies around going to a tournament where it all depends on the result.

The team features the return of Kelly Brazier from injury (hip), a key member of the team last season, for her first tournament of the 2013/2014 season. There is one new cap in back Chelsea Alley who represented the Black Ferns last year.

“Kelly Brazier is world class. She was New Zealand Women’s Rugby Player of the Year last year and has been a really big part of our team. It’s been a long journey back from a nasty injury and she has come back really well.

“Chelsea was part of our Go for Gold programme and didn’t quite fit the requirements then, but she has progressed really well since then. She is a big athlete and has a really good skill base so we are looking forward to seeing how she goes in Amsterdam.”

New Zealand plays USA, Ireland and Spain in Pool A in Amsterdam.

“Our pool is a strong and competitive one and we will focus on day one firstly. Australia is a real threat, but there are other teams out there progressing really well and are putting the pressure on us.”

He said the team performed well in China, but still had work-ons.

“We played to the conditions very well and our defence was really pleasing. The focus is on looking after the ball and holding on to our possession. Given what we have been working on I am hoping we can achieve that. We all know we are pretty good when we do have a hold on the ball. That’s been a work on and also developing where we want to take the game as our on-field performances have been pleasing as we build through this World Series.”

Amsterdam Sevens schedule 16, 17 May

Friday 16 May
v USA 1.04pm (11.04pm NZT)
v Ireland 3.48pm (1.48am NZT 17 May)
v Spain 6.32pm (4.32am NZT 17 May)

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Information on the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series can be found at