In 2012, New Zealand Rugby undertook a nationwide search for talented sports women with an Olympic dream. Fast forward to Rio 2016. Five of the women standing on the medal podium could trace their journey to the Olympics back to their selection for the Go For Gold search four years earlier.

The journey towards Tokyo 2020 has begun, and New Zealand Rugby is searching for more sevens talent.

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Hear our stories


What are we looking for?

We want athletes with speed, agility, power, a competitive streak, a strong work ethic, a love for sport and a great team attitude. You don’t need any prior rugby experience to be involved – we will show you the ropes.

What is invovled in the Go for Gold sessions?

For most of the session you will be playing small non-contact ball games where you will have plenty of space to show us what you’ve got! This will give our selectors the opportunity to observe your coordination skills, speed, fitness and any X-FACTOR traits. It will be a friendly environment where the coaches will provide you with the support you need and encourage you throughout the session. Needless to say, there will be no Simon Cowells.

If I am selected, what happens next?

You will be part of a Regional 2020 Training Group.Over a 2 month period you will learn key skills from qualified, experienced coaches.You will need to attend as many of the trainings as possible supplying your own training gear & equipment including rugby boots, mouth guard etc.You will also need to make your own way to and from the training venues.

What support will I receive?

You will receive high quality coaching for two months and strength and conditioning resources. Some costs will be subsidised for camps or tournaments during this period.

What happens after the two-month training period?

If the selectors think you’re among the best of the best, you will be selected for the Black Ferns Sevens Development Group.This is a 12 month training programme which requires your full commitment. If you wish to continue to play other sports as well we will consider it, according to what’s best for your individual development and growth as a sevens player.

What extra support will I receive if I make it into the Black Ferns Sevens Development Group?

You will have a high level of support free of charge including:

  • • Strength and conditioning
  • • Skills coaching
  • • Nutrition, mental skills, medical
  • • National camps
  • • Domestic and international tournaments

Graduated Go for Gold Class of 2012

Michaela Blyde


Portia Woodman

Counties Manukau

Kayla McAlister


Gayle Broughton

  • "We are looking for fast and competitive young women that have an excellent work ethic and attitude towards team success.”"

    Allan Bunting, Black Ferns Sevens Head Coach
  • "In 2012, New Zealand Rugby had the Go for Gold campaign and I went around to one of the Auckland training camps, got picked up from there and haven’t looked back since"

    Tyla Nathan-Wong, Black Ferns Sevens
  • “Now a New Zealand girl can have a job training every day. It was a dream as kids, to train and get paid for it. It’s changed a lot of lives and I think it will continue to do so.”

    Ruby Tui, Black Ferns Sevens