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RWC winning Black Ferns named for Hamilton Sevens return

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Hannah Peters - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Four members of the World Cup winning Black Ferns team are set to return to sevens this weekend, as they chase more silverware on New Zealand soil.


Sarah Hirini, Stacey Fluhler, Portia Woodman-Wickliffe and Theresa Fitzpatrick have all been named in the Black Ferns Sevens team for this weekend’s event.

These four superstars played a crucial role in the Black Ferns’ incredible World Cup run, which united a rugby-mad nation like never before.

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The talented quartet with bring some invaluable experience to the national sevens team, who currently sit equal on points with Australia on the overall standings.

New Zealand lost to traditional rivals Australia 26-19 in the Cup final of the Dubai leg last December, before claiming some revenge in Cape Town soon after.

Both teams currently sit on 38 points, and will be eager to make a statement in front of their home fans over the next fortnight – with the Sydney Sevens set to be played on January 27-29.

Black Ferns Sevens head coach Cory Sweeney said it’s “great” having the champion Black Ferns players in the mix.


“It is great having the Black Ferns girls back in the mix, they bring plenty to the team, not just on the field but off the field, our little whanau is once again complete,” Sweeney said.

“With the return of the Black Ferns, the younger girls have had the opportunity to showcase their craft and they too are eager to don the black jersey, so the internal competition in the squad has really lifted… it has been intense.

“The preparation for this weekend has been brilliant. There is nothing better than playing at home in front of a passionate and vocal crowd, filled with our fans and families.

“We are eager to take the field and put on a display of entertaining sevens rugby that New Zealanders can be proud of.”


After getting their World Series campaign off to a disastrous start in Hong Kong, the All Blacks Sevens team will look to continue their resurgence in front of their faithful home fans.

The men’s team got their season back on track with a third placed finish in Dubai, before going one better in the following event in Cape Town.

But this weekend’s event means more.

Not only are the men and women playing in front of their home fans, but it’s also set to be the Hamilton Sevens’ final appearance on the international circuit.

“This year’s tournament is extra special, with it being the last dance in front of a boisterous home crowd,” All Blacks Sevens coach Clarke Laidlaw said.


“Playing at home, you can’t beat it! The atmosphere, the support from our fans and whanau, is indescribable.

“It is our turn now to take the field and show our appreciation for their support this weekend, but also thank them for their support for the past 22 years.

“This week we have prepared with real energy, and the players are eager to take the field and paly to their potential with the crowd behind us. We look forward to embracing that.”


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