Brazier and Blyde bolster Black Ferns Sevens

Getty Images     03 May 2019     Getty Images


The team is;  

Shakira Baker (Waikato) 
Michaela Blyde (Bay of Plenty) 
Kelly Brazier (Bay of Plenty) 
Dhys Faleafaga (Wellington) 
Sarah Hirini - captain (Manawatu) 
Tyla Nathan-Wong (Auckland)
Risaleaana Pouri-Lane (Tasman) 
Cheyelle Robins-Reti (Waikato) 
Alena Saili (Southland) 
Terina Te Tamaki (Waikato) 
Ruby Tui (Bay of Plenty) 
Niall Williams (Auckland) 
Tenika Willison (Waikato) 

After finishing fifth at the Kitakyushu Sevens last month, the Black Ferns Sevens are looking to improve when they take the field next weekend.

“It was not the result we were after, the biggest frustration was the inconsistency in our performances,” said Assistant Coach Cory Sweeney who will again lead the team.  

“We have a good mix of experienced and new players so the key is understanding individual roles and developing combinations. We didn’t adapt to the difference as well as we needed to but the team has been working really well and using the experience as a learning.”  

The return of the experienced Kelly Brazier and 2018 World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Michaela Blyde strengthen the team, while Stacey Waaka is set to miss the remainder of the season with a wrist injury. 

“It’s great to have Kelly and Michaela back as they really add to the balance of the team. Kelly has an immediate impact as our play maker and adds a lot of value and leadership. Michaela has won the DHL Impact Player award for the past two years which speaks to the amazing stuff she can do on the field. Both of them have added a real boost in the environment.”

The Black Ferns Sevens currently lead the World Series standings, six points ahead of hosts, Canada with two tournaments remaining. 

“The two biggest goals this season have been to win the World Series and gain Olympic qualification, the only way to achieve that is to focus on ourselves. We are six points clear at the moment and we want to extend that, that starts with a good performance in Canada,” said Sweeney.