Sevens teams ready for Regionals
The Manawatu Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams have been named to contest Central Zone Regional Sevens in Levin on Saturday.
The tournament is the qualifying tournament for Nationals in December with the Manawatu Women starting their bid for a sixth National title in eight years.
The Manawatu Women will be captained by Janna Vaughan, who will also be one of the side’s most dangerous attacking weapons.
New Zealand Sevens representative Rhiarna Ferris will be another to watch out for having come off an impressive debut season on the World Series.
Lauren Balsillie has been confirmed to play having spent the last two weeks with the Black Ferns Development squad in Fiji, scoring a try on her debut.
Others with international experience include Vaine Greig, Crystal Mayes and Hayley Hutana and New Zealand age grade representatives Kalyn Takitimu-Cook and Carys Dallinger, along with Paige Lush who was a triallist for the Under 18 side.
Takitimu-Cook, Kahurangi-Sturmey and Grace Kaihau were all part of the recent Red Bull Ignite Sevens programme.
Cyclones halfback and first five-eighth Corrineke Windle will be a key playmaker.
The side is missing the likes of Rebekah Tufuga (injured), Sarah Goss (New Zealand Sevens), Selica Winiata (Refereeing) and Shanna Porima (injured).
Turbos outside back Te Rangatira Waitokia will captain the Men’s Sevens team.
Fellow Turbos player Ben Werthmuller will add plenty of power and pace to the side.
Fleet-footed Jono Ihaka and Reece Brosnan, returning from a serious knee injury suffered at last year’s nationals, will share playmaking duties after Jared Deal and Tobias Wickham-Manuel were ruled out with injury.
Club rugby standout Shaq Waara will be one to watch.
Kameli Kuruyabaki, William Treder, Jeremiah Tuimanua-Fryer and Jared Goodson all had strong club campaigns in 2019 while Alipate Natoba and Timoci Seruwalu bring plenty of experience on the sevens circuit.
Manawatu Women: Janna Vaughan (c), Grace Kaihau, Paige Lush, Corrineke Windle, Crystal Mayes, Lauren Balsillie, Kalyn Takitimu-Cook, Carys Dallinger, Hayley Hutana, Kahurangi Sturmey, Rhiarna Ferris, Vaine Greig
Manawatu Men: Ben Werthmuller, Cameron Black, Tomaci Serawalu, Jared Goodson, Jeremiah Tuimanua-Fryer, Kameli Kuruyabaki, Reece Brosnan, Will Treder, Jono Ihaka, Shaq Waara, Te Rangatira Waitokia (c), Alapati Natoba