New Zealand's Gayle Broughton reacts during the women's rugby sevens gold medal match against New Zealand at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (Zsolt Czegledi/MTI via AP)
New Zealand's Gayle Broughton reacts during the women's rugby sevens gold medal match against New Zealand at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (Zsolt Czegledi/MTI via AP) Zsolt Czegledi

NZ sevens rugby team training at Coolum from today

FORTUNES of the New Zealand sevens women's rugby team will be shaped at Coolum this week.

The Black Ferns arrive Monday ahead of a gruelling week featuring gym and training sessions as they prepare for the Commonwealth Games.

Squad members will be culled and the final team decided following the Sunshine Coast visit.

Both the men and women's teams will return to Coolum for acclimatisation before the Commonwealth Games in April.

The teams are being hosted by former Kiwis Kim and Des Gourlay at Seachange Coolum Beach apartments.

"It all came about a few years ago when the international team were coming to Noosa,” Kim said.

New Zealand's Michaela Blyde, chased by Australia's Ellia Green, runs nearly the entire length of the field to score the first try of the Women's Bronze medal match at the Sydney Rugby 7s Series in Sydney, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. (AAP Image/David Moir) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
New Zealand's Michaela Blyde, chased by Australia's Ellia Green, runs nearly the entire length of the field to score the first try of the Women's Bronze medal match at the Sydney Rugby 7s Series in Sydney, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. (AAP Image/David Moir) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY DAVID MOIR

"Des emailed our mate Harvs (Mark Harvey) who is the strength and conditio- ning coach because we were in the Navy with him.

"They came and they liked the fact they weren't in Noosa. They liked the laid back environment of Coolum and training facilities at St Andrew's which are top notch.”

Following the women's team arrival on Monday, the Black Ferns will travel to the Peregian Springs school for a gym session and then undertake on-field training which will be open to the public.

In an interesting twist, Kim has friendship ties with two of the squad members parents - Taranaki pair Michaela Blyde and Gayle Broughton.

Kim and Dessie Gourlay have helped facilitate the New Zealand rugby sevens teams to train and stay at Coolum.
Kim and Dessie Gourlay have helped facilitate the New Zealand rugby sevens teams to train and stay at Coolum. Grant Edwards

"I went to school with Michaela's mum and Gayle's mum and dad at Hawera High. We used to play touch and netball together,” Kim said.

Commonwealth Games sevens action starts on April 13 at Robina.

It will be the first time women's sevens has been included in the games, with Australia the favourites after becoming Olympic champions. The Black Ferns Sevens have been drawn in Pool A alongside Canada, South Africa and Kenya.

The All Blacks Sevens are in pool C, which will include Canada, Kenya and Zambia.

Their Sunshine Coast open training session will be staged on Friday, April 6 from 10.30am-noon.

Kim and Dessie Gourlay have helped facilitate the New Zealand rugby sevens teams to train and stay at Coolum.
Kim and Dessie Gourlay have helped facilitate the New Zealand rugby sevens teams to train and stay at Coolum. Grant Edwards

TRAINING SESSION

Who: Black Ferns sevens squad.

When: Monday, February 26, 3.45-4.45pm.

Where: St Andrew's Anglican College, 40 Peregian Springs Dr, Peregian Springs.


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