World champ Black Ferns Sevens return home

By James Perry

The world champion Black Ferns Sevens returned home today.  The back-to-back champions were welcomed home by their friends and whānau early this morning. 

The team are making a habit of bringing home medals or trophies.

The 2016 Olympic Silver medalists have this year alone won gold at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

A faltering first round was the ultimate difference between winning the World Series again, they finished 2nd.

And of course today they returned home as world champions after defeating France 29-0 in the final of the World Cup in San Francisco.

The Black Ferns Sevens are currently on a 28 match winning streak and captain Sarah Goss told Newshub none of the squad members want to lose.

"We do everything for each other, we trust each other and we love each other as well and I think that is why we're bringing home the trophy."

Reflecting on the highs of the past year, Tyla Nathan-Wong describes her team as "amazing" and says, "it's incredible just to able say we've been able to achieve so much."

The team was welcomed back to Auckland Airport this morning by family and friends. 

Nathan-Wong noticed the smile on her grandfather's face as she walked through the doors, "yeah, he's super proud," she says.  Goss is happy she can share the occasion with her family. 

"Obviously they've been with me right from the get-go," she says.

The Black Ferns became the first side to ever successfully defend a Sevens World Cup title, and 24 hours later the Men's team defended the title they won in 2013 in Russia.

The wins mean that once again all four senior rugby world cups are in New Zealand's possession. 

The Black Ferns and All Blacks are defending champions in the 15-a-side version as well.

Goss says "Rugby world cups in New Zealand mean everything and so to now have all four back home is pretty special."

Most of the Black Ferns Sevens squad have a six week break to look forward to, before returning to their provinces for the Farah Palmer Cup, and preparation for the next World Series.

However some, such as Stacey Waaka, will join the Black Ferns Fifteens squad when they gather to prepare for the two-test series against Australia in August.

There will be one more opportunity for New Zealand to underline their success on the international sevens stage, and that will be when the Under 18 women's team at the Youth Olympics in Argentina in October.