Looking back: Black Ferns Sevens in Hong Kong (2000)
With the Black Ferns Sevens set to make their return to the Hong Kong Sevens after 22 years away, we look back to the first official New Zealand women’s Sevens side to contest the tournament back in 2000.
The 2000 side was the first official New Zealand women’s Sevens team to be selected was selected, after unofficial sides had contested the tournament in 1997 and 1999. The New Zealand team took part in the Hong Kong Sevens, winning the final against Australia. The team was coached by Darryl Suasua.
We look back at the 2000 squad and see where they are now, 23 years on. (Black Ferns Sevens cap number listed).
Sharleen Nathan (nee Holden) #1
Sharleen Nathan was a midfielder for Manawatu and like all of this Sevens squad from 2000, also played 15’s. Nathan got into coaching, with the Manawatu Farah Palmer Cup side, RedBull Ignite7 and at Hamilton Girls High School, where she is the Deputy Principal and head of the rugby programme. In 2018, Nathan was appointed as a Future Director on the board of the Chiefs Super Rugby club.
Dianne Kahura #2
The Auckland winger debuted for the Black Ferns 15’s side in 1998 and went onto play 12 Tests for New Zealand. She was a speedster on the wing and loved to score tries. Up until 2012, Kahura alongside Louisa Wall still held the record for the most tries in a provincial season with 14.
Hannah Porter (nee Myers) #3
Porter was part of the Black Ferns squads that won both the 2002 and 2006 Rugby World Cup. She played centre for Otago and Auckland at provincial level and made 22 appearances for the Black Ferns. In 2010, Porter was appointed the Black Ferns manager and she was campaign manager for the team for the 2017 Rugby World Cup in Ireland and oversaw the Black Ferns successful 2021 campaign. Most recently, Porter has been appointed as the Head of Women's High Performance at New Zealand Rugby.
Here we go, Hong Kong! 🙌🏽— NZ Sevens (@nz_sevens) March 30, 2023
3️⃣ debutants for our tāne and the long-awaited return to Hong Kong for our wāhine too. A big weekend ahead at the home of Sevens!#HK7s | #HSBC7s | @hksevens pic.twitter.com/tk2GRtG1l5
Anna Richards #4
The Auckland first five-eighth is a stalwart of the women’s game. She represented New Zealand at four World Cups and is the second-highest capped Black Fern (behind Fiao’o Faamausili). Richards was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2014. She coached the Barbarians last year in their first Test victory over the USA. Now she works at Auckland Rugby as the women’s player development manager and she’s also the assistant coach of the Auckland Storm. The women’s player of the tournament at the National Sevens receives the Anna Richards Cup.
Annaleah Rush #5
The Auckland centre also represented New Zealand at the 1998 and 2002 Rugby World Cup. She is the sister of former All Black Xavier Rush. At the peak of her rugby career, Rush was a teacher and she went back to University to complete her master’s degree. She still holds the record for the most tries in a women’s domestic game, with eight. Rush won the Women’s Player of the Year award at the New Zealand Rugby Awards in 2001.
Suzy Shortland #6
Aucklander Suzy Shortland was a member of both the Black Ferns and Black Ferns Sevens. The midfielder played 18 Tests, including being a member of the 1998 and 2002 World Cup winning sides. After her international career, Shortland continued to play club rugby for Marist in Auckland.
Tammi Wilson #7
Wilson was another Auckland Marist player, who played both sevens and 15s, as well as touch and league at international level. Wilson is a double World Cup winner, in 1998 and 2002. Known for her impressive kicking game, Wilson continues to support the game, as a board member on the New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association.
Lavinia Gould #8
20 years after debuting for the Black Ferns Sevens, Gould continued to play at the highest level. Plying her trade across the ditch, Gould has played for the Broncos in the Women’s NRL and for Queensland in the Super W. Gould played in four tournaments for the Black Ferns Sevens. She made two appearances for the Broncos in 2022 and has played 16 games for the side since her debut in 2018.
Sherry Hansen #9
Flanker Sherry Hansen continued to give back to rugby after her playing days, with a coaching stint at Ruapehu College.
Noi Kurei #10
Bay of Plenty’s Noi Kurei has been a regular on the club sevens scene, most recently representing Opotiki.
IT'S GAME DAY! 🎉#HK7s | #HSBC7s | @OfficialHK7s pic.twitter.com/IyUGopLuoJ— NZ Sevens (@nz_sevens) March 30, 2023