Goss keen to hit sevens circuit

GEORGE HEAGNEY
Last updated 12:00 13/11/2012

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Sarah Goss' career as a travelling sevens professional is about to begin, after she was named in the New Zealand team for the world series opener in Dubai at the end of the month.

Goss is the vice-captain of the squad of 12 named last week, and is a strong contender to keep her place in the squad for the whole series which stops at Houston in the United States, Guangzhou in China and Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Even though they name a new squad for the other rounds, Goss could become a regular on the sevens circuit and hopes to feature at the sevens World Cup in Moscow in June.

"That's the plan and that's the dream," she said. "The circuit is something that I'm looking forward to. If I can go away to four tournaments in a year that will be quite exciting."

Goss was also vice-captain at the Oceania championships in Fiji in August but never imagined going to Dubai or China, so it was still a surprise when she got the callup.

This is the first IRB women's sevens world series so there is some pressure for the women to replicate the success of the New Zealand men's team.

"A lot of the girls don't see the pressure side of it. That's a good thing. So they'll go out there to enjoy themselves and try and win."

Teams at the world series include Spain, the US, Australia, England, Canada and China. Goss played with the Aotearoa New Zealand team in Rome in 2010 but thought it would still be tough.

"I think that individually we'll be fine and as a team be even better. Just got a number of very talented girls that we have in the squad even though some are in the Black Ferns and some are not coming - we're still a good chance."

Former Black Fern Huriana Manuel is the captain and is joined by former Black Ferns Carla Hohepa, Lavinia Gould, and Linda Itunu. The squad also includes six players from the victorious Oceania tournament in Fiji in August, while Amanda Rasch, Lauren Burgess, Marama Davis and Chyna Hohepa are new caps.

THE SQUAD

New Zealand women's sevens: Linda Itunu (Auckland), Carla Hohepa (Waikato), Amanda Rasch (North Harbour), Lauren Burgess (Taranaki), Sarah Goss (Manawatu), Lavinia Gould (Bay of Plenty), Tyla Nathan-Wong (Auckland), Marama Davis (Counties-Manukau), Huriana Manuel (Auckland) captain, Chyna Hohepa (Waikato), Portia Woodman (Auckland), Kayla McAlister (Auckland). Coach: Sean Horan.

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- Manawatu Standard

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