Sevens: Michaela Blyde, Sarah Hiriini return from injury for Hamilton tournament

Black Ferns Sevens stars Sarah Hirini and Michaela Blyde have been named in the squad to contest next week's Hamilton leg of the world series.

Hirini will take back the captaincy, after Tyla Nathan-Wong led the team to victory in her absence at Dubai and Cape Town in December.

"It's great to have them both back involved," said co-coach Allan Bunting.

"We were able to build depth up in Cape Town, but with this being a home tournament, it's special for them to be playing and good for us to build that core of our team in what is a big year."

The Hamilton tournament will be the first world series event for the Kiwi ladies. 

"I've been in this set-up for nine years," said Bunting. "Last year, we had a mini tournament in Hamilton, which was pretty special, but to have our first home tournament, it's huge.

"Knowing that our families will be in the crowd and everyone is behind us means a lot to this group, and we want to make sure we perform."

But veteran Portia Woodman missed out on the squad, as she continues to battle injuries, as the Tokyo Olympics loom. She will also miss the Sydney tournament in February. 

Join us on Saturday, January 25 for live updates of the Hamilton Sevens