Three new Black Ferns will make their debuts on Sunday after they were named for the opening fixture of the International Women’s Rugby Series featuring New Zealand against Australia.
Black Ferns Head Coach Brian Evans has named Wellington lock Sanita Levave, Waikato winger Honey Hireme and Counties Manukau hooker Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamata in the starting line-up for the trans-Tasman clash to be played on Sunday 1 June at Rotorua International Stadium, at 5:40pm.
The team to play Australia is (*denotes new cap):
|1 Kathleen Wilton
2 Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate *
3 Stephanie Te Ohaere-Fox
4 Eloise Blackwell
5 Sanita Levave *
6 Rawinia Everitt
7 Linda Itunu
8 Casey Robertson (vice-captain)
9 Kendra Cocksedge
10 Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali
11 Chelsea Alley
12 Amiria Rule (captain)
13 Huriana Manual
14 Honey Hireme *
15 Selica WiniataRESERVES:16 Fiao’o Fa’amausili
17 Ruth McKay
18 Aleisha Nelson
19 Aroha Savage
20 Justine Lavea
21 Emma Jensen
22 Renee Wickliffe
23 Halie Tiplady-Hurring
|Evans said they had deliberately chosen to blood in the new players early.
“We want to get them in there from the outset, and we wanted to mix it up a bit. All three players will be well supported by the experienced players running out with them.
“We think we have the depth, so we’re happy to test that.”
The team includes Waikato’s Chelsea Alley and Canterbury’s Halie Tiplady-Hurring who were called into the squad after injuries to Auckland’s Portia Woodman (ankle) and Claire Richards (knee).
Alley and 2012 Black Fern Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali will also get their first start on Sunday.
Evans said the team’s game plan was about simplicity with a focus on good execution for Sunday’s Test.
“This is really exciting to have new players in the mix and we know they are ready.
The International Women’s Rugby Series schedule:
Sunday 1 June – GAME DAY
Friday 6 June:
Saturday 7 June:
Tuesday 10 June:
Match reports on www.allblacks.com