21 Jul 2012

Netballers join Black Ferns in women's sevens squad

12:24 pm on 21 July 2012

A smattering of Black Ferns and netballers have been included in a 12-strong New Zealand women's sevens rugby team.

National coach Sean Horan has named his first team to play in next month's Oceania Women's Sevens Championship tournament in Fiji.

It includes Mystics netballers Portia Woodman and Kayla McAlister, who is also the sister of former All Black Luke McAlister, as well as World Cup Champion Black Ferns Linda Itunu, Kendra Cocksedge and Huriana Manuel as well as recent Black Ferns Shakira Baker and Hazel Tubic.

The team is the first to be selected on the back of a nationwide Go4Gold recruitment programme to encourage women to consider playing sevens. The programme is geared towards finding a gold-medal winning women's sevens team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

More than 1000 women and girls registered with the Go4Gold programme and the regional tournaments in August will provide more opportunities for women to showcase their talent.

Team: Shakira Baker (Wellington), Kendra Cocksedge (Canterbury), Moana Forbes (Tasman), Sarah Goss (Manawatu), Charlene Halapua (Auckland), Linda Itunu (Auckland), Huriana Manuel (Captain, Auckland), Kayla McAlister (Auckland), Tyla Nathan-Wong (Auckland), Hazel Tubic (Counties Manukau), Ruby Tui (Canterbury), Portia Woodman (Auckland)