New Zealand Women’s Sevens team named for China
March 27, 2014, 23:09:11

New Zealand Women’s Sevens Coach Sean Horan has named his team to play in the fourth leg of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in Guangzhou, China next week.

The team (*denotes first Sevens tournament):

1. Honey Hireme                         Waikato
2. Carla Hohepa                          Waikato
3. Hazel Tubic                             Counties Manukau
4. Jordon Webber                        Waikato
5. Sarah Goss                               Manawatu
6. Gayle Broughton                       Taranaki
7. Tyla Nathan-Wong                    Auckland
8. Katarina Whata-Simpkins *        Wellington  
9. Huriana Manuel                        Auckland
10. Selica Winiata                         Manawatu
11. Portia Woodman                     Auckland
12. Kayla McAlister                       Auckland

Waikato’s storming forward power Honey Hireme returns to the squad after missing out on the Atlanta and Sao Paulo tournaments because of a viral illness, while sevens newcomer and 2011 Black Ferns Katarina Whata-Simpkins is set to make her debut in the Sevens jersey.

Despite still missing a few key players to injury such as playmaker Kelly Brazier (hip),Ruby Tui (knee) and Viane Greig (knee) – Horan said the team announced today was a good opportunity to continue building depth in the side.

“There’s still a lot of girls out with injury and that’s giving us an opportunity to grow depth but also it’s a really good chance for all the young girls pushing through.

“Our depth is certainly becoming more competitive which is good,” Sean Horan said.

The team had regrouped and done some soul searching after the disappointing loss to Australia in the Final of the Sao Paulo tournament and had been working on a couple of key areas.

“We’ve been working on our tactics under pressure.  (In Sao Paulo) it was wet weather rugby, and our tactical decision making around certain key areas of the field that put us under pressure, so we have been working on those sorts of things around the tactics, and our skills-set of the catch-pass and being able to move the ball into space.

“We’ve learned a lot from other teams.  A lot of other teams are now coming up a lot in defence, a lot like the guys game so we’re having to adjust our skills-set.”

To hear more from Coach Sean Horan click here.

The team – in camp in Mount Maunganui this week, leaves for China on Monday afternoon.

Unavailable due to injury:

Kelly Brazier - Hip
Linda Itunu - Shoulder
Michaela Blyde - Back
Ruby Tui - Knee
Vaine Greig - Knee

Guangzhou, China match schedule– 5 -6 April 2014
Venue:  Guangzhou University

Saturday 5 April
V Brazil 10:44am (3.44pm NZT)
V China 1.28pm (6.28pm NZT)
V Spain 4.12pm (9.12pm NZT)

IRB Women’s Sevens World Series
2013/2014 standings:  Australia 56, New Zealand 56, Canada 48, Russia 40, England 34, Spain 32, USA 24.

Dubai, UAE: 28, 29 November 2013 (Won by Australia)
Atlanta, USA: 15, 16 February 2014 (won by New Zealand)
Sao Paulo, Brazil: 21, 22 February 2014 (won by Australia)
Guangzhou, China: 5, 6 April 2014
Amsterdam, Netherlands: 16, 17 May 2014


Snapshot – New Zealand Women’s Sevens

• June 2013 – crowned World Champions of Sevens at Moscow World Cup, defeating Canada 29-12 in final

• May 2013 – winner of inaugural IRB Women’s Sevens World Series

• New Zealand players awarded women’s sevens top honours:
       Kayla McAlister – IRB Player of the Year 2013
       Portia Woodman – IRB Player of the 2013 World Cup

• Around 1000 women from many different sports trialled for the New Zealand Women’s Seven’s Olympic campaign in 2012

• Women’s sevens is a fast growing sport in New Zealand – 10 teams competed in the recent National Sevens tournament

Information on the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series can be found at

Information on the New Zealand Women’s Sevens team can be found at

last updated: March 27, 2014, 23:10:19

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