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Black Ferns stick with tried and true

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/11/2016

Powerful loose forward Sharnita Woodman is the only uncapped player in a 27-strong New Zealand women's rugby team named on Saturday.

The Black Ferns squad, which will contest a three-Test series against England, Canada and Ireland, is stacked with experience.

Former Kiwi Ferns representative Woodman is the only player yet to take the field, although she was named in the squad for the Black Ferns' two recent matches against Australia.

Prop Sosoli Talawadua and first-five Kiri Demant return to the team after missing New Zealand's two comfortable wins over the Wallaroos.

Coach Glenn Moore said the series against Australia had allowed the coaching team to test new players and to try different combinations.

"We had a quick turnaround for the lead-up to the series and the team came together quickly," he said.

"We face the same challenge in preparing for this series, and the key for us will be how quickly we can adjust and settle into our offshore routine."

He said the lure of making the Black Ferns squad for next year's women's Rugby World Cup was a huge incentive for players to perform.

New Zealand squad:

Forwards: Aldora Itunu, Aotearoa Mata'u, Toka Natua, Aleisha Nelson, Sosoli Talawadua, Fiao'o Faamausili (captain), Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Eloise Blackwell, Charlene Gubb, Charmaine Smith, Rawinia Everitt, Charmaine McMenamin, Aroha Savage, Angie Sisifa, Sharnita Woodman.

Backs: Kendra Cocksedge, Kristina Sue, Kelly Brazier, Kiritapu Demant, Chelsea Alley, ReneeWickliffe, Honey Hireme, Carla Hohepa, Janna Vaughan, Selica Winiata, Portia Woodman, Hazel Tubic.

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