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Injury returns boost Black Ferns

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/06/2017

The Black Ferns are welcoming back three players from injury for their clash against England, which decides the winner of the International Women's Rugby Series.

Flanker Rawinia Everitt and 32-Test veteran number 8 Linda Itunu return to the starting XV for Saturday's match in Rotorua, having fully recovered from injury. Second five-eighth Chelsea Alley will have her first start for the year after hurting her ankle in May.

Both sides are unbeaten, each having healthy wins against Australia and narrower victories over Canada.

"We wanted to try some different combinations as we look ahead to August's World Cup and it's important we do that now," coach Glenn Moore said.

He was expecting a physical clash.

"The English are a good side - they are World Champions and have won their last two matches here in New Zealand."

The Black Ferns' match kicks off at 4.15pm in Rotorua ahead of the Maori All Blacks match against the British and Irish Lions.

New Zealand: Selica Winiata, Portia Woodman, Stacey Waaka, Chelsea Alley, Renee Wickliffe, Kelly Brazier, Kendra Cocksedge, Linda Itunu, Sarah Goss, Rawinia Everitt, Charmaine Smith, Eloise Blackwell, Aldora Itunu, Fiao'o Faamausili (capt) Toka Natua. Reserves: Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Sosoli Talawadua, Aleisha Nelson, Becky Wood, Charmaine McMenamin, Kristina Sue, Victoria Subritsky-Nafatali, Honey Hireme.

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