Hamilton Sevens: Black Ferns, All Blacks name teams for 'extra special' world series farewell

The Black Ferns Sevens have welcomed back most of their Rugby World Cup champions for this weekend's Hamilton leg of the world series.

Sarah Hirini, Stacey Fluhler, Portia Woodman-Wickliffe and Teresa Fitzpatrick all return to the shorter format, and will be eager to impress the home crowd, as Hamilton makes its last appearance as a host city on the circuit.

Black Ferns Sevens coach Cory Sweeney has welcomed the quartet's return, as they seek to send off Hamilton in style.

"It is great having the Black Ferns girls back in the mix," he said. "They bring plenty to the team, not just on the field, but off the field - our little whānau is once again complete.

"With the return of the Black Ferns, the younger girls have had the opportunity to showcase their craft and they too are eager to don the black jersey, so the internal competition in the squad has really lifted... it has been intense.

"The preparation for this weekend has been brilliant. There is nothing better than playing at home in front of a passionate and vocal crowd, filled with our fans and families. 

"We are eager to take the field and put on a display of entertaining sevens rugby that New Zealanders can be proud of."

Meanwhile, the injury-plagued All Blacks Sevens have confirmed their team for Hamilton, as they look to go one better than they did in Cape Town, but they will have to do so without veterans Scott Curry and Tim Mikkelson.

Regan Ware and Joe Webber will reach special milestones, when they take the field for their 50th tournament in black jerseys.

All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw praises the duo's dedication to the sport and hopes his side can repay the faith shown by Kiwi fans throughout the years.

"This year's tournament is extra special, with it being the last big dance in front of a boisterous home crowd," he said.

"Playing at home, you can't beat it. The atmosphere, and the support from our fans and whānau are indescribable. 

"It is our turn now to take the field and show our appreciation for their support this weekend, but also thank them for their support for the past 22 years.

"This week, we have prepared with real energy, and the players are eager to take the field and play to their potential with the crowd behind us. We look forward to embracing that.

Regan Ware.
Regan Ware. Photo credit: Getty Images

"Joey and Regan are world class, their dedication to this game is outstanding. To bring up 50 tournaments and to do it at home is a special moment for them both, and an opportunity to have their whānau to celebrate with them." 

Black Ferns Sevens squad: Niall Guthrie, Stacey Fluhler, Michaela Blyde, Tyla Nathan-Wong, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Portia Woodman-Wickliffe, Alena Saili, Jazmin Felix-Hotham, Shiray Kaka, Sarah Hirini, Risi Pouri-Lane, Jorja Miller, Tenika Willison

All Blacks Sevens squad: Brady Rush, Akuila Rokolisoa, Dylan Collier, Ngarohi McGarvey-Black, Sam Dickson (captain), Amanaki Nicole, Joe Weber, Leroy Carter, Moses Leo, Che Clarke, Sione Molia, Roderick Solo, Regan Ware

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