Sevens stars among Black Ferns to face Wallaroos

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

New Zealand has named three of its Sevens silver medallists in the Black Ferns squad to take on the Wallaroos next week in New Zealand.

Veteran Portia Woodman and teammates Sarah Goss and Kelly Brazier were also included, after standing out in the  Farah Palmer Cup, New Zealand’s provincial competition.

The side has three debutants in prop Aotearoa Marua, halfback Kristina Sue and backrower Sharnita Woodman, but head coach Glenn Moore said there wasn’t really any surprises with the makeup of the team.

“There’s certainly players there who have been selected based on what they’ve produced in the Farah Palmer  Cup, there’s one or two Sevens players that have come back in directly because they’ve finished their Sevens program and they’ve come back through the Farah Palmer  Cup.”

Portia Woodman in action in Rio. Photo: Getty ImagesMoore said while there were a handful of injuries  for the Black Ferns, the squad was selected with one eye on the 2017 women's Rugby World Cup.

I mean we’ve got some positions where we’re under a little bit of stress with key persons injured and some cases multiple people in the same position so that’s put a little bit of stress on selection but we’ve viewed it as an opportunity to have a bit of look at a broader base of players and look to build that base.

“Whilst it’s stressful, it also gives us an opportunity as well.”

The Black Ferns head to Europe after their two-Test series with Australia in New Zealand, kicking off with the Bledisloe Cup double header at Eden Park on October 22.

Australia announced its squad for the series last month, with the group heading across the ditch on Monday.

Black Ferns squad

Backs - Chelsea Alley(centre) , Kelly Brazier (flyhalf), Kendra Cocksedge (Halfback),  Honey Hireme (Outside back), Carla Hohepa (Outside back), Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali (First five eighth), Kristina Sue (Halfback), Hazel Tubic (fullback), Janna Vaughan (Outside back), Renee Wickliffe (Centre),  Selica Winiata (Outside back), Portia Woodman (Outside back)

Forwards - Eloise Blackwell (Lock), Rawinia Everitt (Loose forward), Fiao'o Fa'amausili (Hooker), Sarah Goss (loose forward), Charlene Gubb (Lock), Aldora Itunu (Prop), Pip Love (Prop),  Aotearoa Matau ( Prop), Charmaine McMenamin (Loose forward), Toka  Natua    (Prop), Aleisha  Nelson  (Prop), Te Kura  Ngata-Aerengamate (Hooker), Aroha Savage (Loose forward),  Angie Sisifa (Loose forward), Charmaine Smith (Lock), Sharnita    Woodman (Loose forward)                           

Justine Lavea, Linda Itunu, Lesley Ketu and Stacey Waaka were unavailable for selection due to injury.\

Black Ferns vs Wallaroos Tests

Saturday, 22 October, 3.05pm AEDT, LIVE on FOXSPORTS

Black Ferns v Australian Wallaroos, Eden Park, Auckland

Wednesday, 26 October, 12.30pm AEDT

Black Ferns v Australian Wallaroos, QBE Stadium, North Shore