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Teen named in Black Ferns Sevens

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/01/2017

File photo of Sarah Goss of New Zealand. © Jamie Squire/Getty Images File photo of Sarah Goss of New Zealand. Uncapped teenager Alena Saili has been named in the Black Ferns Sevens squad for the Sydney round of the women's world series next week.

The Southland 18-year-old was a standout performer at the national women's sevens in Rotorua this month, catching the eye of coach Allan Bunting.

"When she plays she doesn't look like someone who has just finished school. So I think it is a great opportunity for her to experience the next level," he said.

The side won the opening round of the world series in Dubai in December after beating Olympic champions Australia in the final and Bunting knows they'll have to lift further if they are to repeat the dose in Sydney.

"Teams will be a lot more prepared, so we will have to take our game to another level to do well."

The uncapped Cheyelle Robins-Reti will travel with the squad as a reserve.

"Starting off as a travelling reserve is a good way to get tournament exposure and the opportunity to continue to train with the team and develop in the team environment," Bunting said.

The Black Ferns face Papua New Guinea, France and Canada in their pool at the February 3-4 tournament.

Black Ferns: Sarah Goss (captain), Michaela Blyde, Kelly Brazier, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Tyla Nathan-Wong, Alena Saili, Terina Te Tamaki, Ruby Tui, Kat Whata-Simpkins, Renee Wickliffe, Niall Williams, Portia Woodman. Travelling reserves: Tenika Willison, Cheyelle Robins-Reti.

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