University women's team part of festival

An Otago University women's team is set to be part of a festival of sevens event in Pukekohe tomorrow.

The Otago team has a good sprinkling of Otago Spirit players and will fancy its chances at the University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand women's sevens tournament in Pukekohe.

Lining up in the event are teams from Otago, Auckland, AUT, Canterbury, Massey, Victoria and Waikato.

The event is run in conjunction with games involving the Black Fern Sevens, Black Ferns Development Sevens, Thailand, China and Japan.

The tournament is open to full-time students and former students who have graduated in the past year.

The side includes Otago Spirit players in flanker Georgia Mason, locks Jess Kendall and Kate Smith, first five-eighth Rosie Kelly and captain Tegan Hollows.

Kelly is on the fringe of the Black Ferns sevens development squad. A notable addition to University this year is first-year student Hinemoa Watene, a New Zealand under-18 sevens team member who won gold at the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina last year.

Rian Sanerive brings versatility and is capable of playing any position in sevens.

Other players are first-year students Erica Blundell, Phillip Henderson, Morgan Schuler and Jamie Wyatt and the team is rounded out by Aimme Bovee, an exchange student from the United States.

Players unavailable were Islay Fowler and Emma Hopcroft due to injury, and Trish Hopcroft who has national touch commitments.

The team is coached by Tala Fagasoaia, a former Samoa sevens international who brings a wealth of experience and expertise.

The team last participated in 2017 but was absent in 2018, as Otago University did not affiliate to UTSNZ last year.


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