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Two new faces in Black Ferns squad

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/05/2017

The Black Ferns will look to perfect their preparation for the Women's Rugby World Cup in August when they play three Tests on home soil next month against Canada, Australia and England.

Head coach Glenn Moore released his 31-strong squad for the June series on Saturday, admitting the majority of that group would go on to Ireland in August.

Skippered by wily rake Fiao'o Fa'amausili, the squad contains two new faces in Auckland-based midfielder Theresa Fitzpatrick and the Albany-based Rebecca Wood.

The remainder of the squad sticks to the tried and true, with the likes of Sarah Goss, Selica Winiata and star halfback Kendra Cocksedge all set to feature.

They will face the Canadians in Wellington on June 9, before taking on trans-Tasman foes Australia four days later in Christchurch.

They'll then tussle with an impressive England outfit in Rotorua, immediately before the Maori All Blacks' clash with the British and Irish Lions.

"The home Tests are an opportunity for us to try some of the things against the same opposition we'll face at the World Cup, without showing too much," Moore said.

"We've had a vision for how we want to play the game and, for the last couple of years, we've been progressively building that.

"I think we've made good strides."

A further seven players, who will remain in their respective regions, have also been named as part of the wider World Cup training squad.

BLACK FERNS: Eloise Blackwell, Rawinia Everitt, Fiao'o Fa'amausili (c), Sarah Goss, Aldora Itunu, Linda Itunu, Lesley Ketu, Justine Lavea, Pip Love, Charmaine McMenamin, Toka Natua, Aleisha Nelson, Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Aroha Savage, Angelene Sisifa, Charmaine Smith, Sosoli Talawadua, Rebecca Wood, Chelsea Alley, Kelly Brazier, Kendra Cocksedge, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Honey Hireme, Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali, Kristina Sue, Hazel Tubic, Janna Vaughan, Stacey Waaka, Renee Wickliffe, Selica Winiata, Portia Woodman.

TRAIN-ON PLAYERS: Charlene Gubb, Jessie Hansen, Carla Hohepa, Emma Jensen, Aotearoa Mata'u, Tyla Nathan-Wong, Stephanie Te Ohaere-Fox.

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