22 Feb 2013

High performance women's sevens squad named

4:51 pm on 22 February 2013

The New Zealand Women's Rugby Sevens coach Sean Horan has selected 26 players including four 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old for a core High Performance squad that will form the basis of New Zealand's campaigns towards the Rugby World Cup Sevens later this year and to the Olympics in 2016.

With an eye on the goal for Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Horan has included young talent in 16-year-olds Gayle Broughton and Michaela Blyde from Taranaki, Hayley Hutana from Manawatu and Ariana Hira-Herangi of Waikato and 17-year-old Shiray Tane of Waikato.

The squad also boasts experience in 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament top points scorer Selica Winiata and top try scorer Carla Hohepa, as well as RWC Sevens 2009 teammates Linda Itunu, Huriana Manuel, and Renee Wickliffe.

All five have played for the Black Ferns along with Shakira Baker, Kelly Brazier, Hailie Hurring, and Hazel Tubic.

Full squad: Linda Itunu, Huriana Manuel, Kayla McAlister, Tyla Nathan-Wong, Portia Woodman, Olivia Bird, Alexis Tapsell, Ruby Tui, Hazel Tubic, Renee Wickliffe, Shakira Baker, Sarah Goss, Hayley Hutana, Kristina Sue, Selica Winiata, Amanda Rasch, Kelly Brazier, Halie Hurring, Michaela Blyde, Gayle Broughton, Lauren Burgess, Francea Hansen, Ariana Hira-Herangi, Honey Hireme, Carla Hohepa, Shiray Tane