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Black Ferns named to face Wallaroos

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/10/2016

The Black Ferns team will field a Test-hardened team for the first of two women's rugby Tests against Australia.

The only uncapped players in coach Glenn Moore's team are on the reserve bench, where halfback Kristina Sue and prop Aoteroa Mata'u are in line to face the Wallaroos at Eden Park on Saturday.

Dynamic sevens winger Portia Woodman is at centre in a team which will be led by hooker Fiao'o Fa'amausili and steered around the park by proven halves Kendra Cocksedge and Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali.

"The team's come into camp determined to work hard and although they had only a short time to prepare they have quickly gelled as a unit," Moore said.

The only uncertainty is at prop, where loosehead Pip Love must pass a fitness test later in the week.

Aldora Itunu has been bracketed alongside Toka Natua who will start at prop if Love is ruled out.

Australia haven't won in 13 Tests against the Black Ferns but received a confidence boost by beating Auckland 21-19 this week.

Moore believes the visitors will be as motivated as his team to prove themselves in front of what should be a sizeable crowd for the curtain-raiser to the men's Bledisloe Cup Test.

"The Wallaroos are a bit of an unknown to us at this stage. What we do know is they will be just as determined as we are to get the win," he said.

The second Test is in Albany on Wednesday before the Black Ferns depart for a three-Test tour of England and Ireland.

Black Ferns:

Selica Winiata, Honey Hireme, Portia Woodman, Chelsea Alley, Renee Wickliffe, Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali, Kendra Cocksedge, Aroha Savage, Sarah Goss, Rawinia Everitt, Charmaine Smith, Eloise Blackwell, Aleisha Nelson, Fiao'o Fa'amausili (capt), Pip Love. Reserves: Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Toka Natua/Aldora Itunu, Aotearoa Mata'u, Charlene Gubb, Charmaine McMenamin, Kristina Sue, Kelly Brazier, Janna Vaughan.

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