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Payton Spencer named for All Blacks Sevens debut

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Peter Meecham/Getty Images)

Both the Black Ferns Sevens and All Blacks Sevens confidently enter the HSBC Sydney Sevens, as series leaders, following their gold and silver medal wins respectively on home soil in Hamilton last weekend.

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With only a few small changes made to the teams that took centre stage at the HSBC New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton.

Now series leaders, the All Blacks Sevens will see the inclusion of Lewis Ormond who comes in for Moses Leo, after being ruled out with concussion and hopeful All Blacks Sevens debutant Payton Spencer for Regan Ware who hasn’t recovered from sustaining an ankle injury last weekend.

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All Blacks Sevens Head Coach Clark Laidlaw said the team have refocused and looking to build together as a team.

“We have had a short turnaround this week and it has been important we have been able to recover, reflect, and reconnect, while we look ahead to the weekend. We will continue to build on our connections we have from the weekend.

“There was a lot to like in Hamilton, but we know we can take more opportunities with ball in hand and the players have really taken ownership of our defence and what we can improve,” said Laidlaw.

Laidlaw commended Payton Spencer’s work ethic, to see him in-line to debut this weekend.

“Payton’s selection this weekend has been credit to his work ethic and ability to adapt quickly to the sevens game. He has prepared really well this week, all we want him to focus on is doing his job, expressing himself and enjoy the opportunity to play sevens on the international stage.”

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Following an inspiring display of sevens rugby at the HSBC New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton, the Black Ferns Sevens Head Coach Cory Sweeney has named a near unchanged line-up for the HSBC Sydney Sevens, apart from the introduction of Tysha Ikenasio after Alena Saili sustained a calf injury during last weekend’s victorious weekend.

Sweeney said the team were impressive in Hamilton, the task for them now is to not become complacent.

“When you have tournaments back to back, the challenge is to recover both physically and mentally, while preparing for another tournament.”

“While we want to build on the momentum from Hamilton, we also want to hold the intensity we are demonstrating across our defensive systems and continue to attack across all areas of the field,” said Sweeney.

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Sweeney said he is looking for Ikenasio to add some fresh energy to the team following the team’s success in Hamilton.

“Tysha impressed in her debut for the Black Ferns Sevens in Dubai and backed up her performance the following weekend in Cape Town. She narrowly missed out on selection for Hamilton last weekend, but we are looking forward to seeing Tysha’s youthful energy once again this weekend.”

All Blacks Sevens team is:

2 Brady Rush
4 Akuila Rokolisoa
5 Dylan Collier
6 Ngarohi McGarvey-Black
7 Sam Dickson (Captain)
9 Amanaki Nicole
11 Joe Webber
12 Leroy Carter
21 Che Clark
23 Lewis Ormond
27 Sione Molia
44 Roderick Solo
74 Payton Spencer

Unavailable for selection: Andrew Knewstubb, Kitiona Vai, Moses Leo, Regan Ware, Scott Curry, Tim Mikkelson, Tone Ng Shiu (injury).

Black Ferns Sevens team is:

3 Stacey Fluhler
4 Niall Guthrie
6 Michaela Blyde
7 Tyla Nathan-Wong
10 Theresa Fitzpatrick
11 Portia Woodman-Wickliffe
13 Jazmin Felix-Hotham
22 Shiray Kaka
26 Tysha Ikenasio
34 Sarah Hirini (Captain)
77 Risi Pouri-Lane
83 Jorja Miller
99 Tenika Willison

Unavailable for selection: Alena Saili, Kelly Brazier, Mahina Paul (injury).

HSBC Sydney Sevens Draw (dates/times listed in NZDT)
Friday 27 January
3.06pm Black Ferns Sevens v Papua New Guinea
5.28pm All Blacks Sevens v Uruguay
9.05pm Black Ferns Sevens v France

Saturday 28 January
12.06am All Blacks Sevens v Kenya
3.12pm Black Ferns Sevens v Japan
5.49pm All Blacks Sevens v South Africa

Sunday 29 January
Play-offs

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