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Believe the Goss, women's captain just like DJ

BEN STRANG
Last updated 05:00 03/04/2014
Sarah Goss
KEVIN COX/ Getty
JUST LIKE DJ: Sarah Goss is a star player in women's sevens.

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Sevens

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She's like a young,  unbearded female version of Sevens captain DJ Forbes if you subscribe to the hype about Sarah Goss.

The 21-year-old New Zealand Women's Sevens team vice-captain is getting quite a reputation for her play in the Women's Sevens World Series, and it's well justified.

Goss is relishing her leadership role ahead of the China Sevens this weekend, and said she is flattered by the Forbes comparisons.

''It's a huge honour to be compared with him. He's an amazing reader [of the game], he's got a high skill base, he's a great leader.

''I definitely aspire to have an impact like him in the next few years. He is someone I will watch and try and model my game on.''

Forwards often don't get the praise their backline counterparts get on the sevens field, but their contribution is just as vital as the flashy try scoring out wide.

Goss works hard up the middle to give her team go forward, is a tough tackler and gives those flair players a solid base to work from.

Assistant coach Alan Bunting said the comparisons to Forbes are well placed, although Goss has a long way to go to be a true great in women's sevens.

''Set piece and how your forwards get the initial go forward, and set that platform for your backs, it's really important,'' he said.

''DJ is probably the best in the world at that. Sarah fills that role for us, and she does have a lot of the traits which DJ has.

''She's still learning things about the game, but if she keeps improving and playing at a high level for the next 10 years, then she'll be truly exceptional, although she already is exceptional.''

Goss was named player of the tournament at the Atlanta Sevens, leading New Zealand to the tournament title.

She also impressed in Sao Paulo, despite New Zealand losing to Australia in the Cup final.

There is no secret to how she keeps her form in sevens rugby, and no it isn't her sheep shearing past.

''I think it's just putting in a lot of effort back in my home region. I have to be at my fittest, and keep working on my strength.

''I also know my role, and when I go on to the field I can do that role to the best of my ability. As a leader you have to know you can do that.

''I'm focused on sevens now as my career, I guess, so I don't really do much shearing anymore.''

Meanwhile, the team's build-up for this year's China Sevens has already been a vast improvement compared to last year.

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Unable to eat meat, in a small, cramped hotel with rock hard beds, 2013's Chinese tournament was hell for the New Zealand women.

''This year we're actually at the Ritz, which is a five star hotel,'' Bunting said.

''The girls are pretty buzzed out. We've actually got our nutritionist, Rico, as well, and he's doing food for the IRB so we're allowed meat and that, so it's much better this time around.''

The China Sevens starts on Saturday, with New Zealand playing Brazil, China and Spain in their pool.

They are tied for the World Series lead with Australia on 56 points.

- Fairfax Media

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