New Zealand Women's Sevens team for USA 7s named
March 3, 2015, 17:23:22

New Zealand Women's Sevens team for USA 7s named Album

The New Zealand Women’s Sevens team for the third leg of World Rugby's Women’s Sevens Series in Atlanta to be held 14 and 15 March was named today.

The team features four changes from the side that won in Sao Paulo, including the return of Honey Hireme and Alexis Tapsell, members of the 2013 World Champion side.

The team is:

Michaela Blyde
Kelly Brazier
Sarah Goss (C)
Honey Hireme
Kayla McAlister
Morgan Morrow
Tyla Nathan-Wong
Alexis Tapsell
Hazel Tubic
Ruby Tui
Selica Winiata
Portia Woodman

Bay of Plenty
Bay of Plenty
Bay of Plenty

 Honey Hireme and Alexis Tapsell who were both regular members of the 2013 team which won the World Cup in Moscow are selected for the first time in 2015. Hireme last played in China in the 2013/14 season and coach Sean Horan said it was pleasing to have a player of her calibre back.

“She has put in a lot of hard work and is committed to our approach. Honey delivers more fire power in the forwards which is something we were lacking a little. It’s great to welcome her back.”

Morgan Morrow and Michaela Blyde are also back from injury. Returning squad member Lavinia Gould trained this week, but picked up a knee injury which ruled her out of selection. Gayle Broughton and Kat Whata-Simpkins were not available after being injured in Sao Paulo and Huriana Manuel remains unavailable due to injury.

Horan said after the Atlanta tournament, 18 players would have turned out for the team in the 2014/15 season, underlining the depth in the squad.

“Over the past three years we’ve had a core of good players and we’ve been able to grow a quality pool of players around that. It creates a competitive environment for players wanting to make the team and that’s ultimately good for performance.”

The team leads the 2014/15 Women’s Series having beaten Australia in the Dubai and Sao Paulo finals.

“The game we’re playing now is technically and tactically getting better. We’re looking after the ball better, our defensive structures are getting stronger and we're exposing the spaces. I'm pleased about where we’re heading."

Horan said Australia remained the big threat in Atlanta.


“They’re definitely right on our heels, but also the likes of Canada, USA, France, England and Russia are all improving. The pressure’s coming on and you can see just how the game is progressing which is good. There are no easy games.

Everybody brings their A game against us and we have to learn to deal with that and focus on what we do well.”


New Zealand playing schedule Atlanta, USA 14,15 March

(note:Atlanta is currently 18 hours behind New Zealand time)


Pool Play - 14 March

  • 1328hr vRussia
  • 1612hr vSouth Africa
  • 1856hr vUSA

Finals on 15 March


last updated: March 3, 2015, 17:28:35

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