Pouri-Lane to debut for Black Ferns Sevens

By Regan Paranihi

Youth Sevens Olympic Games gold medalist, Risi Pouri-Lane, will make her Black Ferns Sevens debut for the team’s last tournament of 2018 at the HSBC Dubai Sevens.

Coach Allan Bunting said Pouri-Lane has made great progress in her first year in the squad.

"Risi is ready to go. She has had a great build up with the Youth Olympic Games win; there is no pressure on her at all, now it’s about going out there and enjoying the experience."

Bunting says the fifth-place finish in Dubai last year will be taken into consideration when taking the field this time around

"We took some vital learnings out of Dubai last year so that is certainly fresh in our mind and we'll remember that when we take the field."

He also says the focus is on improving their game despite their current lead in the World Series standings after their first-round win at the Glendale Sevens.

"USA was a good start for us but when you win one, everyone looks at you a bit closer, so we've got to be better this time around."

Bunting also paid tribute to Michaela Blyde on being crowned World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, along with nominees Sarah Goss and Portia Woodman.

"It's amazing to have three of our ladies up there who have been performing consistently, not just last year but for the last four or five years. They are going really well, and we are proud of how they represent our country."

The team is,

1. Ruby Tui

2. Shakira Baker

3. Stacey Waaka

4. Terina Te Tamaki

5. Sarah Goss - captain

6. Michaela Blyde

7. Tyla Nathan-Wong

8. Kelly Brazier

9. Gayle Broughton

10. Theresa Fitzpatrick

11. Risi Pouri-Lane

12. Alena Saili

*Kat Whata-Simpkins is the travelling reserve.