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New Zealand Women's Sevens Coach Named

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

2 July 2008 - Former Black Ferns Coach Darryl Suasua has been appointed head coach of the New Zealand Women's Sevens team, which will aim to compete at the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in Dubai next year.

Suasua is a highly respected coach with a wealth of experience. He coached the Black Ferns for seven years and under his coaching, the team won two IRB Women's Rugby World Cup tournaments in 1998 and 2002 as well as Canada Cup titles in 1996 and 2000. Suasua was Counties Manukau assistant coach in 2005 and the province's technical advisor in the Air New Zealand Cup in 2006 and 2007.

It will be the first time that the RWC Sevens will include a women's competition and the first time an official New Zealand Women's Sevens team has been assembled since 2001.

Suasua said he was delighted to be involved with one of New Zealand's newest national teams.

"Sevens rugby has grown tremendously around the world and it is exciting to be part of a new chapter for women's rugby in particular. The challenge for us is to ensure that we are as good as we can be and push ourselves to get to a level that will put us in a good position to qualify for the World Cup," Suasua said.

He said one of the key elements of Sevens success was fitness: "This is vital and the fitness required in Sevens is different to what the players are used to in the fifteens game. At the same time we will also have to get our basic skills right."

All 16 women's teams have to compete in regional qualifying tournaments to take part at the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in March next year.

New Zealand's preparations start on 12 July when a group of 29 players will assemble in Auckland for a three-day trial camp. A squad of 12 will be named at the conclusion of this camp and will re-assemble in Auckland on 19 July to prepare for the IRB Rugby World Cup qualifying tournament in Samoa from 25-26 July. New Zealand Women's Sevens trial squad:

Auckland: *Fa'anati Aniseko, *Victoria Blackledge, *Linda Itunu, *Justine Lavea, *Vaniya Lavea, *Huriana Manuel, Angela McGregor, Hannah Porter, *Teresa Te Tamaki

Bay of Plenty: Exia Edwards

Canterbury: *Kendra Cocksedge, Stacey Lene, Amiria Rule, *Melissa Ruscoe

Counties Manukau: Billy Jean Ale, Aroha Savage, Karley Te Kawa, Hazel Tubic, Renee Wickliffe

Hawke's Bay: Julie Ferguson, Ngahuri Thompson, Shaan Waru

Manawatu: Jennifer James, Mallory Townsend, Selica Winiata

Otago: Kelly Brazier, *Carla Hohepa

Waikato: Honey Hireme

Wellington: *Aimee Sutorius

*Denotes 2007 Black Ferns player

New Zealand Women's Sevens management team: Coach: Darryl Suasua Manager: Kay Goodhue Physiotherapist: Jacinta Horan Fitness trainer: Byron Thomas

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