Manawatu players were setting the standard and personal bests at the New Zealand women's sevens camp in Hamilton at the weekend.
Sarah Goss, Kristina Sue, Wairakau Greig and Selica Winiata were part of the 30-strong group that has been earmarked to make the sevens team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Sue, Goss and Greig all set personal bests in the yo-yo endurance test, a variation of the beep test, and were among the highest fitness levels at the camp, setting an example for the rest of the squad.
"We tried to," Goss said. "We were quite a way at the top."
Manawatu's other player at the camp, Winiata, probably would have featured in the top levels, but injured her knee.
Captain of the Manawatu sevens team last summer, Goss did 18.8, which was the fourth-best behind Waikato's Jordan Webber, who did 20.1, and two women from Auckland who did 19.8 and 19.1.
Goss was keen to crack 20 soon and received good feedback from the New Zealand coaching staff.
"Just to keep working on my speed and maintain my fitness levels," Goss said. "I'm happy but there's always room to improve. I have to keep working on my scrum."
A first-five or midfielder in the 15-a-side game, Goss plays in the forwards in sevens and was happy to keep working to improve her fitness levels if it gives her a shot at making the New Zealand team.
"I think that they are one of the best at the moment but I definitely can improve."
She has twice played for the Aotearoa New Zealand sevens side at the Rome international sevens.
The sevens world cup is in Russia next year, which most of this team are likely to go to but sevens at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro is proving a hot topic in women's rugby.
"That's probably one of my main goals," Goss said. "It's all we talk about. Anything we do is for the Olympics and winning gold . . . that's what the main focus is."
A women's sevens squad of 12 for the Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions tournament in Fiji this month was to be named today.
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