New Zealand Women's Sevens Player of the Year Ruby Tui (Bay of Plenty) returns to the Black Ferns Sevens team for this weekend's Langford Sevens, as the defending champions look for back-to-back victories on the World Series circuit.
Tui's return, and the inclusion of Waikato's Terina Te Tamaki, are the only changes to the team that secured gold at the Kitakyushu Sevens last month.
"Ruby's energy has been amazing, and her challenge will be to control that this weekend. It's great to have her back, she adds so much off the field and on, and really enhances our environment," said coach Allan Bunting.
Te Tamaki is set to take the field in her ninth tournament, her first appearance this series, Bunting said.
"T has been in our programme for a while now and she knows what it means to get out there, put that jersey on and represent this team. There are some good players in her position so it's been quite challenging for her this year, but this is a great opportunity for her to get out there and express herself in the black jersey."
Bunting said the team had adjusted to the time zone and climate and were in a good position leading into the important tournament. Sitting six points behind Australia in the Series, the Black Ferns Sevens need another win if they are to secure the series title again.
"Every point is vital. Instead of focusing on points though, we need to focus on every little moment we get and every opportunity we have to create impact. If we focus on moment by moment, the outcome will take care of itself."
Black Ferns Sevens
1. Ruby Tui (Bay of Plenty), 2. Shakira Baker (Waikato), 3. Stacey Waaka (Waikato), 4. Niall Williams (Auckland), 5. Sarah Goss (Manawatu) — captain, 6. Michaela Blyde (Bay of Plenty), 7. Tyla Nathan-Wong (Auckland), 8. Kelly Brazier (Bay of Plenty), 9. Terina Te Tamaki (Waikato), 10. Theresa Fitzpatrick (Auckland), 11. Portia Woodman (Counties Manukau), 12. Tenika Willison (Waikato)