Richards to lead New Zealand women at Hong Kong sevens
March 6, 2001

Auckland's Anna Richards will again captain the defending champions New Zealand at the Women's Rugby Sevens tournament in Hong Kong at the end of this month.

Coach Darryl Suasua and selector Peter Lind on Tuesday named Richards to lead a 10-strong squad featuring eight players who starred in the World Series Sevens tournament in Wellington last month.

This will be the fourth trip to Hong Kong for the highly experienced Richards. The Blackferns' fly half captained the official New Zealand team which beat Australia in last year's final, and previously played for New Zealand Invitation sides in 1997 and 1999.

Recalled to the squad are Blackferns Annaleah Rush and Lavinia Gould, who have both played in Hong Kong before, while Tamaku Paul takes a break from netball duties with the Otago Rebels to make the trip. Auckland's Toso Naoupu will wear black in Hong Kong for the first time, having represented Samoa at the event last year.

Hong Kong has attracted 14 international sides. New Zealand is in Pool A with Samoa, Sweden, Kazakhstan, China, Japan and Arabian Gulf. Pool B contains Australia, USA, England, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore.

The New Zealand squad is:
Anna Richards (capt) - Auckland, Annaleah Rush - Auckland, Suzy Shortland - Auckland, Toso Naoupu - Auckland, Dianne Kahura - Auckland, Exia Shelford - Bay of Plenty, Tamaku Paul - Bay of Plenty, Hannah Myers - Otago, Vanessa Cootes - Waikato, Lavinia Gould - Wellington.

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