They want the win, and with three titles from their last three tournaments the Black Ferns Sevens have every right to be confident of securing another win at this weekend's Sydney Sevens.

But the Mount Maunganui-based Black Ferns Sevens are not expecting an easy run at the Sydney Sevens title, knowing their opposition will be coming for them hard at their third tournament of the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series - a tournament where they were thrashed by Australia in the Cup final the year before.

Hat-trick-scoring, Black Ferns Sevens flyer Stacey Waaka said she and her "sisters" had done all of the preparation they needed to do behind the scenes ahead of this weekend, focusing on ensuring their bodies were right and staying motivated for their goal of Olympic qualification.

"We didn't have the best result last year here in Sydney so we want to really turn the tables a little bit and make sure that we stay on top of our game right from the start and not fall short at the end," Waaka said.


Sydney is the first of the women's sevens series tournaments of the year and the New Zealand women go into it at the top of the World Series standings winning two from two in USA and Dubai.

"We're confident but we also know that everyone wants to beat us so we can't be complacent."

They also begin their 2019 campaign on the back of a Fast Four sevens title win in their international home debut in Hamilton last weekend.

What a try! The Black Ferns finish in stlye with beautiful offloading try at the #NZSevens Fast Four

Posted by World Rugby Sevens on Saturday, 26 January 2019

Being able to play in front of a vocal and supportive home crowd filled with familiar faces and lots of New Zealand flags and memorabilia was something Waaka said she could not explain.

"When you're around the world at different countries, you run out and the crowd kind of cheers but not as it did for us at home, and you're standing there singing the national anthem and everyone's actually singing it with you which is so special.

"I can't really explain the feeling but it was a lot of fun and very special playing in front of a home crowd.

"When we finished you go around everyone and I just saw so many faces.

The Black Ferns Sevens squad left for Sydney on Monday and got stuck into training on Tuesday ahead of their Pool A clashes with Papua New Guinea, France and England on day one of the Sydney tournament tomorrow.


"It's going to be tough, we played France and England in Hamilton and they're two top quality sides that bring different game plans so just trying to adapt to what they're going to bring."

Along with Waaka, the travelling squad includes Shakira Baker, Michaela Blyde, Gayle Broughton, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Sarah Hirini (captain), Tyla Nathan-Wong, Alena Saili, Terina Te Tamaki, Ruby Tui, Stacey Waaka, Katarina Whata-Simpkins, Niall Williams and Rhiarna Ferris, who had her debut in the black jersey last weekend.

Rhiarna Ferris of the Black Ferns Sevens made her debut in the black jersey at the Hamilton Sevens last weekend. Photo / Getty Images
Rhiarna Ferris of the Black Ferns Sevens made her debut in the black jersey at the Hamilton Sevens last weekend. Photo / Getty Images

"She's so excited," Waaka said of her "flatty", Ferris.

"I know how hard she's worked behind the scenes. It's been a tough year with injuries for her so to be able to put that black jersey on for the first time at home in front of her partner, her family, her friends was pretty special and I had a talk to her after the game and she's like 'I don't want to be anywhere else but here', so I know she's very happy with that."

Despite being sidelined with an ankle injury in Hamilton, Captain Sarah Hirini (nee Goss) is expected to lead the Black Ferns Sevens in Sydney this weekend.

"She's a very, very mentally tough person so we know that she can climb over every hurdle and she'll still be good to go," Waaka said.

This weekend, Waaka's Brisbane-based parents and Melbourne-based brother will be in Sydney cheering her on, so she's excited to be playing in front of those closest to her for the second week in a row.

"I can't wait to get out there and get the mahi done with my sisters."

The Sydney Sevens travelling squad:

Shakira Baker
Michaela Blyde
Gayle Broughton
Rhiarna Ferris
Theresa Fitzpatrick
Sarah Hirini (captain)
Tyla Nathan-Wong
Alena Saili
Terina Te Tamaki
Ruby Tui
Stacey Waaka
Katarina Whata-Simpkins
Niall Williams