Black Ferns Sevens team named for Kitakyushu Sevens

By Online News - Rereātea

The Black Ferns Sevens team to play the fourth leg of the 2016/17 HSBC Women’s World Sevens Series in Kitakyushu, starting this Saturday, has been named. 

This is the first time an HSBC Women’s World Sevens Series tournament has been held in Japan and helps serves as preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where rugby sevens will feature.

The 12-strong side features three changes from the team that won last month’s Las Vegas tournament, with Rebekah Cordero-Tufuga called into the starting line-up, while 17-year-old Lyric Faleafaga joins the squad for the first time as a travelling reserve with Tenika Willison.

The team is:

Sarah Goss (Captain)


Michaela Blyde

Bay of Plenty

Kelly Brazier

Bay of Plenty

Rebekah Cordero-Tufuga         


Theresa Fitzpatrick


Tyla Nathan-Wong


Cheyelle Robins-Reti


Alena Saili


Ruby Tui


Kat Whata-Simpkins


Niall Williams


Portia Woodman

Counties Manukau

Travelling reserves:
Lyric Faleafaga                         Wellington
Tenika Willison                         Waikato

Black Ferns Sevens Head Coach Allan Bunting said keeping the core of the series- leading squad together was important while also creating opportunities for up-and-coming talent.

“We’re still focused on consistency and continuity, so we’ve kept most of the squad from Las Vegas. We’ve brought in a couple of new players and Rebekah comes back after missing out the last couple of tournaments.

Rebekah’s had a couple of work-ons this series and she’s worked really hard at her game and is making good progress so has been rewarded with selection.”

Seventeen-year-old St Mary’s College Wellington final year student Lyric Faleafaga joins the team for the first time and will experience the international tournament environment in the travelling reserve role.

Schedule for Black Ferns Sevens pool play:

Saturday 22nd April 2017
3.20pm NZT v Japan
6.05pm NZT v France
8.48pm NZT v Russia

Sunday 23rd April 2017