Superlative Sevens star Tyla Nathan-Wong has been released to join the Blues team for next year’s Super Rugby Aupiki competition.
The 27-year-old Sevens superstar has been granted a clearance from the Black Ferns Sevens to compete in the historic first women’s Super-level competition in New Zealand.
nib Blues coach Willie Walker said he was absolutely thrilled that Nathan-Wong will join the squad.
Welcome to the Blues Whānau @tylanathanwong 🙏💙
The @RugbyNorthland and @BlackFerns Sevens star will join the nib Blues for next year’s @SuperRugbyNZ Aupiki competition! 👏⚡️#WeAreTheBlues pic.twitter.com/O1Z3hs35iF
— The Blues (@BluesRugbyTeam) December 6, 2021
“While she was not on the original group of Sevens players released for 15s, we were always hopeful and I left a spot open for her. This is fantastic for us and for Tyla because she has a passion to play for the nib Blues and to compete in this first Aupiki competition,” said Walker.
“As well as her outstanding playing skills, Tyla’s experience on and off the field will be invaluable to help guide our young squad.”
Nathan-Wong said she is excited at the opportunity.
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“I love playing 15s and turned out for Northland last year. We have a big year of Sevens coming up towards the Commonwealth Games and getting back on the World Circuit, so I am appreciative that I’ve been allowed this block of time to play for the nib Blues.
“It is going to be a huge competition that is so important for the future of the women’s game in New Zealand.
“At present my immediate focus is on our Black Ferns Sevens programme but at some point, I would like to see how far I could go at 15s.
“I’ve been in dialogue with Willie and I think the nib Blues squad are a really exciting group of experience and talented young players. It will be fun.”
Nathan-Wong has earned an array of honours in Sevens as finalist for World Rugby’s Sevens Player of the Year in 2019, a Rugby World Cup winner in 2013 and 2018, Olympic gold and silver medallist and gold medal winner at the 2018 Commonwealth Games among her list.
She has been a part of the Black Ferns Sevens squad for over 10 years.
The nib Blues has one further player to announce to complete their squad.