Black Ferns Sevens team named for World Series decider     07 Jun 2018    

The Black Ferns Sevens take the field in Paris this weekend in the closing round of the HSBC World Series with a chance to claim back-to-back titles.

1. Ruby Tui -  Bay of Plenty
2. Shiray Kaka -   Waikato
3. Stacey Waaka -   Waikato
4. Niall Williams -  Auckland
5. Sarah Goss - captain -   Manawatu
6. Michaela Blyde -   Bay of Plenty
7. Tyla Nathan-Wong -   Auckland
8. Kelly Brazier -   Bay of Plenty
9. Gayle Broughton -  Taranaki
10. Theresa Fitzpatrick -   Auckland
11. Portia Woodman -   Counties Manukau
12. Tenika Willison -   Waikato

Trailing Australia by four points in the standings, the Black Ferns Sevens need to finish two places ahead of their trans-Tasman rivals if they are to claim their fifth World Series title.

“There is a bit on the line but we have to take it game by game; we have to get out of our pool first,” said Coach Allan Bunting.

“We’ve got a tough one. England first up, Wales, who we don’t know much about and then Ireland who have done well in the last few tournaments.”

There are two changes to the team that lifted the Langford Sevens title last month, with the return of Gayle Broughton, and Shiray Kaka (nee Tane) who last played for the Black Ferns Sevens team in 2016.

“We need to develop the talent we have on the wing. We have Michaela who is relentless and reliable. But we need depth there so this is an opportunity for Shiray to come back and show what she can do.”

Kaka said the game has progressed a lot in two years and that she was looking forward to running out with the team again tomorrow. Earlier this year, Kaka married former All Blacks Sevens player Gillies Kaka.

“I’m looking forward to wearing my husband’s last name on my jersey, I get to wear Kaka for the first time, hopefully I get a bit of razzle into my game while I’m wearing it,” said Kaka.

It is the first time the women have played in France, and Bunting said they have enjoyed their time in Paris in the build up.

“The players are really excited about being in Paris, we know what rugby means to the French, they love it. It’s going to be a really special occasion.”

HSBC Paris Sevens
Saturday 9 June
12am v England (NZT)
2.44am v Wales (NZT)
5.28am v Ireland (NZT)