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NZ women's sevens side have one eye on Rio

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/05/2016

Kelly Brazier of New Zealand © Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images Kelly Brazier of New Zealand Breaking their title drought this season would be great, but the New Zealand women's sevens side know that it's what happens a little over two months from now that's of prime importance.

Heading into the final round of World Rugby's women's sevens series in France, coach Sean Horan says the main goal this weekend is to build confidence.

"It's been a while since a win," he said.

"We came close in the last two tournaments and we're just progressing well.

"In theory it would be nice to win, but we're going to be remembered for what happens in Rio."

Champions in each of the first three series, New Zealand look likely to have to hand their crown over to Australia.

They sit second on the table, but trail their trans-Tasman rivals by the big margin of 12 points.

That means the Australians, who won the first three of this season's five tournaments, need only a sixth placing in Clermont-Ferrand to claim the title and top seeding at the Rio Olympics in August.

After a slow start to the season, New Zealand have finished runners-up in last two rounds in the United States and Canada.

They have experienced campaigners Kelly Brazier, Kayla McAlister and Huriana Manuel back on deck as they look to retain their spot in the top three.

New Zealand's opening match is against Russia on Saturday night (NZT). Their other pool opponents are Japan and Canada.

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