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Bay of Plenty young women named in New Zealand under-18 sevens training squad

Monday, March 5, 2018

Sevens Training

Bay of Plenty teens Tynealle Fitzgerald (Rangiuru Sports Club), Kiani Tahere (Te Wharekura o Mauao School, Bethlehem) and Mahina Paul (St Kentigern College, Auckland) are part of a squad of 30 of New Zealand's best female secondary school sevens talent to trial for the New Zealand under-18 sevens team in Wellington next month.

Among the trialists are 17-year-old Black Fern Sevens squad members Risi Pouri-Lane and Jazmin Hotham and players from 20 schools across 11 provincial unions.

The team will be coached by former Black Fern Victoria Grant and Peter Nock, from Bay of Plenty.

New Zealand Rugby's High Performance Talent Development sevens manager Chad Tuoro says introducing the programme has allowed scouts to identify and grow young talent.

"At the end of last year, we assembled under-17 and under-18 squads for the World School Sevens and it was a great opportunity to see a number of these players in action together. We're excited that these campaigns have given young players an opportunity to experience international competition and give them experience in a high performance programme," Tuoro said.

"Already we have seen fantastic players like Risi and Jazmin selected into the Black Ferns sevens programme at only 17 years of age, and that is a great example of the amazing opportunities that are available for our young female players.

"This trial is important as the squad we select will wear the black jersey and could represent New Zealand at the Youth Olympic Games but we are under no illusions that we will have to work hard to get to that point."

The group will assemble in Wellington from March 9-11 and a squad will be selected to prepare for April's Oceania Rugby Under-18 Sevens Championship in Sydney, where they need to win to be in contention for a place at the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina in October.

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