NZ Women's Sevens team named for season opener in Dubai

The New Zealand Women's Sevens team to play in the opening tournament of the international HSBC Women's Sevens Series in Dubai next week has been announced.

The team is as followed:

Ruby Tui
Hazel Tubic
Jordon Webber
Sarah Goss (capt)
Gayle Broughton
Tyla Nathan-Wong
Kelly Brazier
Katarina Whata-Simpkins       
Portia Woodman
Niall Williams
Michaela Blyde
Shiray Tane

Some players were not available for selection due to injury, including Charlotte Scanlan (shoulder), Kayla McAlister (foot), Stacey Waaka (shoulder), Lesley Ketu (ankle), Alexis Tapsell (neck), Selica Winiata (back).

Head Coach Sean Horan says the first team of the new season was young.

“We have a few injuries which have resulted in some changes, but going into Dubai we’re really excited. We have the mainstay of Tyla, Kelly, Sarah and Portia and some up and coming players like Gayle Broughton and Hazel Tubic who have been going exceptionally well and some new blood so it’s a great mix to take into the first tournament of the new season.”

There is one new cap in the side with the selection of Niall Williams who comes from a very talented family. Her brother is All Black Sonny Bill Williams.

“She's an amazing athlete similar to her brother. She’s worked very hard over the last nine months to really make this happen. She’s a very powerful and skilful player, coming from a touch background so that's good. Physically she’s tough so we’re excited. We’re not expecting fireworks straight away, but she has real potential and we see a big future for her.”