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Goss back with Manawatu for Nationals

The return of New Zealand Sevens captain Sarah Goss was the highlight of the Manawatu Women’s Sevens team named to defend their National Provincial Sevens title next weekend.

Goss, who was away on international duties for the seventh consecutive Central Region title last weekend, has been back in Manawatu this week preparing with the team.

The 25-year-old is one of three changes from last weekend’s squad.

Manukura schoolgirls Kalyn Takitimu-Cook and Carys Dallinger were the other additions to the team, with Shanna Porima, Kahurangi Sturmey and Ruci Malanicagi missing the cut.

Takitimu-Cook and Dallinger were both unavailable last weekend as they were taking part in the Condor Schools Nationals.

Both played key roles in the team’s charge to the semi-finals.

Takitimu-Cook was also recently named as one of three MVPs at the Red Bull Ignite Sevens programme which will see her invited to the New Zealand Sevens Development squad. Otherwise, coach Mike Pettman has been able to call on his usual bunch of classy operators who have helped the team to winning four of the last six national titles.

Selica Winiata will once again be the team’s talismanic leader, once again proving her value to the Manawatu squad with a fine display at the Central Region tournament last week.

With former New Zealand Sevens representatives Rebekah Tufuga and Vaine Greig in the squad, there is no lack of power in the squad.

Hayley Hutana and Crystal Mayes also boast international experience. Pacey outside back Lauren Balsillie was another to standout at the Central Region tournament. Hard-working forwards Jessica Fagan-Pease and Sam Tipene along with playmaker Corrineke Windle round out the classy squad.

Manawatu Women’s Sevens: Selica Winiata, Sarah Goss, Hayley Hutana, Crystal Mayes, Rebekah Tufuga, Sam Tipene, Vaine Greig, Jessica Fagan-Pease, Corrineke Windle, Lauren Balsillie, Kalyn Takitimu-Cook, Carys Dallinger.

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