The New Zealand skipper has enjoyed a career filled with silverware

Who is Sarah Hirini: Ten things you should know about the New Zealand Sevens forward

Sarah Hirini is captain of New Zealand‘s domineering women’s sevens team.

Famed for her work ethic, the forward is regularly seen lifting a trophy in the famous black jersey.

Ten things you should know about Sarah Hirini

1. Sarah Hirini (née Goss) was born on 9 December 1992 in Feilding, a town in the Manawatu District in northern New Zealand. She affiliates with the Ngati Kahungunu iwi and holds a degree in Maori studies from Massey University.

2. It was at Feilding High School where she took up rugby, initially playing the sport because she believed it would improve her fitness for hockey.

3. Hirini won New Zealand the 2014 Dubai Sevens in dramatic fashion, scoring in the last play to snatch the title from Australia.

4. A serial winner, Hirini was part of the New Zealand side that won the country’s first Women’s Sevens World Cup title in 2013, and she captained the Black Ferns as they defended their crown in 2018. She has also won six World Sevens Series titles.

5. She became the first women’s player to make 200 World Sevens Series appearances when she featured at the Biarritz Sevens in 2019.

6. Hirini captained her country to a silver medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 before winning gold at Tokyo 2020, where she was also a New Zealand flag bearer at the opening ceremony.

7. A tireless flanker in the 15-a-side game, she started every match of New Zealand’s victorious World Cup campaign of 2017.

8. Hirini was nominated for World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the year for the fourth occasion in 2021 but, also for the fourth time, she was overlooked for the accolade.

9. She switched from her maiden name Goss after getting married to mental health worker Conor Hirini in 2018.

10. Hirini has been recognised as a rugby icon in New Zealand. Following a superb 2021, she won the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Trophy, awarded to the country’s outstanding rugby player.

In 2022, she became the third woman to appear on the cover of the New Zealand Rugby Almanack.

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