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Sevens rookies selected for NZ women

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/04/2016

All three newcomers in the New Zealand women's sevens tour squad have been included in the group to contest the third round of the world series in Atlanta.

Theresa Fitzpatrick, Terina Te Tamaki and Stacey Waaka have been retained by coach Sean Horan after he trimmed his tour squad from 14 to 12.

It will be the first taste of international sevens for the trio although Waaka has represented the Black Ferns.

Horan said injecting new blood into the team was part of a wider strategy to build depth ahead of the Rio Olympics in August.

"We have to give other players the chance to put their hands up for the Olympics," he said.

"We aim to win in August and that means trying new combinations and tactics over the next three tournaments so that come Rio we've given ourselves every chance of winning."

Tour members Tyla Nathan-Wong and Janna Vaughan have been left out but could be selected for next week's tournament in Vancouver.

New Zealand are second-equal with Canada in the five-round series, with leaders Australia having won the opening tournaments in Dubai and Sao Paulo.

New Zealand's group opponents on Friday are Japan, Spain and the United States.

NZ women's sevens squad: Sarah Goss (capt), Michaela Blyde, Kelly Brazier, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Shiray Tane, Terina Te Tamaki, Ruby Tui, Stacey Waaka, Katarina Whata-Simpkins, Niall Williams, Selica Winiata, Portia Woodman.

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