Netherlands name familiar squad for Moscow

(IRB.COM) Monday 17 June 2013  
 
 Netherlands name familiar squad for Moscow
Netherlands have named an experienced squad for Moscow as they face a tough challenge in Pool A

Netherlands have named a familiar looking squad of players to contest the Rugby World Cup Sevens with well-known faces Kelly van Harskamp, Lorraine Laros and Pien Selbeck all included.

Coach Gareth Gilbert has named 11 of his 12-player squad, with one extra spot to be finalised this week, and the side will be captained by the experienced Linda Franssen with Laros as her deputy.

Injuries have ruled out Mara Moberg, Tessa Velduis and Tessel van Dongen. 

Netherlands finished seventh at the recent Women’s Sevens World Series and were also ranked seventh at the end of the recent European Grand Prix Series, though Gilbert had used that competition to rest and rotate much of his squad. 

Netherlands: Linda Franssen (captain), Lorraine Laros, Joyce van Altena, Inge Visser, Anne Hielckert, Pien Selbeck, Kelly van Harskamp, Annemarije van Rossum, Dorien Eppink, Paula Schouten, Nicole Kwee,  Bente Gelauff

New Zealand

New Zealand head coach Sean Horan sprung a few surprises in his squad to compete at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens, which takes place in Moscow on 28-30 June.

Horan named two players – exciting duo Alexis Tapsell and Vaine Greig – who only made their New Zealand debuts last month in Amsterdam with both having done enough in the final round of the inaugural IRB Women's Sevens World Series to press their claims to be part of the World Cup challenge. Other than that, Horan will take an experienced squad to Russia.

Making just one change from the squad he took to Amsterdam last month, Horan’s side will take on the favourites tag at the World Cup having won the first ever IRB Women’s Sevens World Series title.

The fleet-footed Selica Winiata comes back from injury just in time to earn a spot in the squad while Ruby Tui, Shakira Baker and former IRB Women’s Player of the Year Carla Hohepa all miss out with injuries.

Skipper Huriana Manuel and stalwarts Renee Wickliffe and Linda Itunu will all feature in their second Rugby World Cup Sevens tournaments, while Kayla McAlister, who took rugby up just a year ago will provide key pace and finishing along with the likes of Portia Woodman, who topped the World Series try scoring charts this season.

Horan said “We have chosen our form players, and included some young talent that we need to develop at this level to ensure we have continued growth and strength in our team. I am sure all these girls will want make the most of any opportunity they get to represent the black jersey, and to do so at a Rugby World Cup is also special.”

New Zealand: Kelly Brazier, Sarah Goss, Vaine Greig, Honey Hireme, Linda Itunu, Huriana Manuel Kayla McAlister, Tyla Nathan-Wong, Alexis Tapsell, Selica Winiata, Renee Wickliffe, Portia Woodman.

Canada

Olympic bobsled champion Heather Moyse has been named in the Canada women's Sevens squad for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow.

Moyse, who won gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, is no stranger to rugby having been joint top try-scorer in the last two Women's Rugby World Cups in the 15-aside version of the Game.

She made her debut in the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series earlier this month in Amsterdam, where Canada reached their first Cup final of the Series before losing to New Zealand.

“She is in the one percentile of athletically gifted people and I saw enough glimpses of the X-factor that she brings to warrant her selection to the World Cup,” coach John Tait said.

“She is obviously a fierce competitor and is getting better every day with her understanding of her position and what her role within our team is.”

The Canadian squad also features Jen Kish, named the MVP at the recent event in Amsterdam, and Mandy Marchak, Brittany Waters and Kelly Russell who all competed at the inaugural Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai four years ago.

Canada finished third in the inaugural Women’s Sevens World Series after finishing sixth in Dubai, seventh in Houston, third in Guangzhou, China, and second in Amsterdam and have been drawn in Pool A with New Zealand, who they lost to in the quarter finals in 2009, the Netherlands and Tunisia.

Canada squad: Arielle Dubissette-Borrice, Bianca Farella, Magali Harvey, Jennifer Kish, Ghislaine Landry, Mandy Marchak, Kayla Moleschi, Heather Moyse, Karen Paquin, Kelly Russell, Ashley Steacy, Brittany Waters,

Tunisia up against it

Tunisia face a tough battle in this pool and will be looking forward to the second day of the competition where they may look to make a better impact in the Plate and Bowl levels.

Having qualified strongly in North Africa, they have competed well in their region however they are still finding their feet at this level, which performances showed earlier this season on the World Series.
As they build for the future however, this will be an excellent experience for this developing team.

Tunisia: Khouloud Gmir, Dhekra Khemili, Ikhlas Abida, Ines Souissi, Rim Elhadjalo, Donia Carfi, Saoussen Dellago, Amani Gharbi, Rihab Zorgati, Rawia Othmani, Mariem Mekni, Dorsaf Mahbouli