The Black Ferns Sevens face a tough day one of their Langford Sevens campaign but that's exactly what captain Sarah Hirini says will help them be on the top of their game right from the beginning.

The New Zealand team go into their fifth tournament of the Women's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Langford, Canada, this weekend focused on proving what it means to wear the black jersey.

The squad suffered their first loss of their 2018-2019 season at the last tournament in Kitakyushu, Japan, last month, finishing the fourth leg of the series in fifth place.

They've won every other tournament this season and still sit at the top of the series standings, where they hope to remain.


Hirini says the squad had talked about what went wrong in Japan, identified what needed to happen this weekend and moved on from that loss.

"We knew that dwelling on the past isn't going to change anything," Hirini says.

"We didn't play to our full potential and that was the most disappointing thing," she says.

"We knew we'd let ourselves down ... everyone knew that we had to be better if we wanted to perform this weekend and the girls have been really awesome and just training really hard and making sure we're getting our basics done really well," she says.

"We wear the black jersey and we work really hard to wear that jersey and I don't think we probably lived up to its potential.

"I think we're sitting in a really good place a couple of days out from tournament."

Both Kelly Brazier and Michaela Blyde are back this weekend and Hirini is expecting that to give them a boost.

"It's not too bad having a couple of the best players in the world back in your team and they bring a lot of experience and excitement.


"With the likes of Kelly back at that play making role I think that's going to make a huge difference."

The Black Ferns Sevens team huddle during a training session in Canada this week. Photo / Mike Lee, KLC fotos
The Black Ferns Sevens team huddle during a training session in Canada this week. Photo / Mike Lee, KLC fotos

Facing Russia, who they drew with in Japan, China and England in pool play, Hirini is expecting a tough day one.

"It's always nice to be able to play the harder teams because it makes you be on top of your game right from the get go.

"China are going to be tough as well. They're just a team that will not stop the whole time and England, they're building a lot, they've got young players but they're extremely talented."

Hirini says the Black Ferns Sevens are excited to "get back out there and just show what it means to wear that black jersey again", to continue being successful and do "New Zealand proud".

Black Ferns Sevens Canada Sevens fixtures:

New Zealand v Russia: Sunday, 5.22am (NZT).
New Zealand v China: Sunday, 8.06am (NZT).
New Zealand v England: Sunday, 11.12am (NZT).

Black Ferns Sevens 2018-2019 schedule:

Glendale: October 20-21 - Winners.
Dubai: November 29-30 - Winners.
Hamilton: January 26-27 - Winners.
Sydney: February 1-3 - Winners.
Kitakyushu: April 20-21 - Fifth.
Langford: May 11, 12.
Paris: June 31-July 2.

The travelling team for the Langford Sevens:
Shakira Baker (Waikato), Michaela Blyde (Bay of Plenty), Kelly Brazier (Bay of Plenty), Dhys Faleafaga (Wellington), Sarah Hirini (Manawatu), Tyla Nathan-Wong (Auckland), Risaleaana Pouri-Lane (Tasman), Cheyelle Robins-Reti (Waikato), Alena Saili (Southland), Terina Te Tamaki (Waikato), Ruby Tui (Bay of Plenty), Niall Williams (Auckland), Tenika Willison (Waikato).