Blyde celebrates 10 years of International sevens

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Blyde, 27, made her debut in October 2013 as a 17-year-old. Since then, she has blazed a trail that has netted five HSBC World Series titles and World Cup Sevens, Olympic Games, and Commonwealth Games gold medals while being awarded World Rugby's Women's Sevens player of the year in 2017 and 2018.

However, she told, it took time to make her mark. In 2016, after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, she became a regular starter for the side.

She has accumulated 151 tries in her 139 games on the circuit as she and the Black Ferns prepare for their latest tournament in Hamilton at the weekend.

Blyde said with personnel changes in the Black Ferns, and as a result of her experience, she liked to help younger players join the side.

"I like to be that middle ground for the young girls to understand what it means and what it takes to play at a World Series tournament because I've been on both sides of the fence where, one, I was one of the girls who never got selected, wasn't good enough, had to stay home continuously.

"But, then, I've also been on the other side of the fence, where I have worked my butt off to be in a place where I've been a starting player on the field. So I know what it feels like to be in both positions."

It was important for younger players to realise that just because they made the team didn't mean they would get game time.

"It's about earning and respecting the right to get game time in the black jersey, and they all know that 100 per cent.

"I'm excited to see how much this team can grow because we've still got so much more potential in us."

With Stacey Fluhler, Sarah Hirini, Ruby Tui and Portia Woodman-Wickliffe missing from the side at the Dubai and Cape Town events due to their World Cup involvement with the Black Fern XVs Tysha Ikenasio, Jorja Miller, Manaia Nuku and Kelsey Teneti made their debuts in Dubai and showed they could compete.

"It's been great having our World Cup girls back, and, obviously, with them winning the World Cup last year, it's an incredible achievement, and we're proud of them.

"But that was last year.

"We weren't lacking leadership in Dubai and Cape Town, but we had a lot of young guys debuting who had never felt the pressure of playing a World Series final, and they played absolutely amazing.

"We had every single girl step up in Dubai and Cape Town, and now that the XVs girls have come back in, their spots are not secure.

"That's the healthy competition we want in our environment. We don't want it to be an easy decision for our coach to select the team. We want it to be as hard as possible for him."

Hamilton would be a little different for local players, especially being the last time the venue will be involved. Due to Covid, the players last had a home tournament three years ago, and it will be a rare chance to play in front of family and friends.

"We want to be able to put on a show for everyone who comes to watch and make sure that the last time we play at home is the best one."

Blyde said while she has had a high strike rate in try-scoring, that was down to her teammates giving her the chances.

"All of our tries that we score are very good team tries. By making sure I'm prepared and visualising myself doing my role the best that I can then, hopefully, we can get some points on the scoreboard. Otherwise, I'll just defend my edge the best that I can."

Grab your tickets for the 2023 Hamilton Sevens HERE and visit to keep up with the latest news on the tournament. 


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