Burgess wins national spot for world series

Taranaki's Lauren Burgess is one of four newcomers named by national women's sevens coach Sean Horan to compete in the first IRB Women's Sevens World Series.

The former Central Pulse netballer has switched her focus to sevens, as have former Northern Mystics players Portia Woodman and Kayla McAlister - the latter a sister of former All Black Luke McAlister. The young 12-strong squad includes four Black Ferns and two sisters.

Horan said he was excited about naming the first women's sevens squad to compete in Dubai, the first of four tournaments on the new women's world circuit.

The other tournaments are in the United States, China and the Netherlands.

Former Black Fern Huriana Manuel will captain the side.

The other former Black Ferns are Carla Hohepa, Lavinia Gould and Linda Itunu. Chyna Hohepa joins her older sister, Carla, in the national side.

The squad will assemble in Mt Maunganui on November 21, ahead of their departure to Dubai on November 26.

The IRB Women's Sevens World Series is:

Round 1, Dubai, November 30-December 1; round 2, Houston, Texas, February 1-2; round 3, Guangzhou, China, March 30-31; round 4, Amsterdam, May 17-18; Rugby World Cup Sevens, Moscow, June 28-30.

The New Zealand Women's Sevens squad is: 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, (captain, Auckland), Chyna Hohepa (Waikato), Portia Woodman (Auckland) and Kayla McAlister (Auckland).