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New-look Black Ferns Sevens team named

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/05/2017

Black Ferns Sevens coach Allan Bunting has named a new-look team for the Canadian leg of the rugby sevens women's world series in Canada next weekend.

Five players, including captain Sarah Goss and world series all-time top try scorer Portia Woodman, are unavailable after being selected in the Black Ferns team to play England, Australia and Canada next month.

Bunting said it was an exciting opportunity for different players to step up.

"It has given us the opportunity to look a bit deeper into our talent pool and created opportunities for players with less game time," he said.

"While many of these players have been in our wider team environment this year, injury or other factors have ruled them out of selection."

Tyla Nathan-Wong will step up from assistant captain to captain with added support from Ruby Tui and Niall Williams.

The players called into the Black Ferns for the international series would be playing for a spot in the Rugby World Cup team, and would also benefit from the change in focus.

"They will play some physical close quarter rugby, learn new skills from quality coaches and will come back to Sevens better from it," Bunting said.

"They will have an appreciation of the abundance of space that we have in sevens, but understand the skill set and energy systems needed to maximise the space."

Black Ferns Sevens: Tyla Nathan-Wong , Shakira Baker, Michaela Blyde, Rebekah Cordero-Tufuga, Jess Drummond, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Crystal Mayes, Cheyelle Robins-Reti, Alena Saili, Ruby Tui, Katarina Whata-Simpkins, Niall Williams. Travelling reserves: Lyric Faleafaga, Tayla Reti.

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