The Women's Sevens team is in full training mode in Mt Maunganui this week as they prepare for the opening tournament of the IRB Women's Sevens World Series in Dubai next month.
One of the most experienced team members, Carla Hohepa, is ready for the new international season.
She has the skill and the speed; the perfect combination for Sevens rugby. Hohepa made her debut for the Black Ferns in 2007, played the 2010 World Cup but has since turned her focus solely on Sevens.
Having clocked up the airpoints globally with her Sevens team, she also commutes from her base in Japan where partner Karne Hesketh plays professional rugby for the Fukuoka Sanix Blues.
Hohepa recently flew back to Japan for the night to watch Karne make his first test start for Japan against the Māori All Blacks in Tokyo earlier this month.
However the focus this week is her own sporting ambitions with the NZ Sevens team and the start of the IRB Women's Sevens World Series.
Hohepa will add to her airpoints again when the team departs for Dubai on Sunday.
Two new faces have been announced in the NZ Women's Sevens squad heading to Dubai next week.
The team is:
1. Ruby Tui - Canterbury
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. Kelly Brazier - Otago
9. Morgan Morrow - Bay of Plenty (new)
10. Charlotte Scanlan - Auckland (new)
11. Portia Woodman - Auckland
12. Shiray Tane - Waikato
World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series – Dubai Schedule:
Thursday 4 December:
11:44am (NZT 8:44pm) v China
2:40pm (NZT 11:40pm) v USA
5:58pm (NZT 2:58am Friday 5 Dec) v Russia
For more info on the series, check out the official World Rugby Women's Sevens website here.