After a well-deserved break, the history-making Black Ferns Sevens are ready for their first tournament of their next campaign, the 2018/19 HSBC World Series.

The Black Ferns Sevens have been in training in Tauranga before leaving for the United States ahead of their first of six tournaments in the series, in Glendale, Colorado.

The national women's sevens squad is going into the series, which increased to six rounds this year as part of part of World Rugby's commitment to provide more high-quality competition for women, with a lot of success under their belt.

They made history with their back-to-back World Cup win in San Francisco in July, which followed their Commonwealth Games gold medal in April when they beat Australia 17-12 in extra time.

Advertisement

Kelly Brazier, who has been a mainstay in the Black ferns Sevens squad since 2013 and a key part of those successes, says the team will be looking to maintain their quality results in this next campaign.

Brazier is a four-time world champion, with those back-to-back sevens triumphs going alongside her two world titles with the Black Ferns in the 15-a-side game in 2010 and 2017. She also secured this year's Commonwealth Games tournament-winning try after storming most of the length of the field in extra time to take the win.

"Off the back of a pretty good world cup win we sort of don't want to drop our standards, so that's sort of the benchmark for us," Brazier says.

She says the squad is ready for the HSBC World Series and is looking to pick up "where we left off".

The recent successes, with "a couple of new things that we've learnt in the pre-season" are what Brazier says the Black Ferns Sevens will take into this series, with the ultimate goal of a win.

"We've obviously had a bit of a time off and back into the season now, so the girls are real eager and looking forward to it," Brazier says.

Black Ferns Sevens team in training at Blake Park before their tournament in America. Photo / George Novak
Black Ferns Sevens team in training at Blake Park before their tournament in America. Photo / George Novak

The Australia women hold the title going into the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, with the Kiwis going finishing second in the last series, just two points behind their transtasman rivals.

The 2018/2019 series has added incentive for the 11 core women's teams, with not only series titles up for grabs but also a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by finishing in the top four.

With Olympic qualification on the line, World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont is expecting an exciting competition.

"The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series continues to go from strength to strength, both on and off the field of play," Beaumont says.

"As the women's series expands to six rounds this year, women's teams will have more competitive playing opportunities, reaffirming our long-term commitment to the development of women's rugby.

"With Olympic qualification on the line this year we anticipate that the series will be the most exciting and competitive yet as men's and women's teams look to secure their place at Tokyo 2020."

Black Ferns Sevens 2018-2019 schedule
October 20-21: HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Glendale
November 29-30: HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Dubai
January 26-27: Fast Four tournament, Hamilton
February 1-3: HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Sydney
April 20-21: HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Kitakyushu
May 11-12: HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Langford
May 31-June 2: HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Paris