Black Ferns name five debutants to face Wallaroos

Womens International
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Black Ferns have named five debutants for Saturday's Test against the Wallaroos in Sydney.

Ruahei Demant, Alena Saili, Krysten Cottrell, Cristo Tofa and Leilani Perese will all run out for the first time as part of the Kiwi side to face Australia ahead of the Bledisloe Cup clash.

Demant will take the playmaking reins after a host of injury setbacks had kept her out of the international realm in the past.

At just 23, Demant has plenty of time to rack up the Test matches to go with her wealth of experience at club and provincial level.

Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore said the team was more prepared than ever, after following the All Blacks' lead and playing a game of three halves as a warm up before their trans-Tasman trip.

“We’ve had the luxury of more preparation time which has given us the opportunity to gel as a team, test a few things, and make sure everyone is the best physical and mental state they can be in," he said.

“The players are really enjoying being with each other and we’re really humming. It’s been more than a year since we’ve played Australia and we can’t wait to get out there.”  

The Wallaroos take on the Black Ferns  for the Laurie O'Reilly Cup from 5:15pm AEST at ANZ Stadium on Saturday, 18 August, LIVE on FOX SPORTS. The Wallabies also host the All Blacks in the first Bledisoe Cup game, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST. LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.

TEAM

Black Ferns to face Wallaroos

1. Phillipa Love (2)

2. Fiao'o Faamausili (52, captain)

3. Aldora Itunu (15)

4. Eloise Blackwell (32)

5. Charmaine Smith (16)

6. Charmaine McMenamin (14)

7. Les Elder (9)

8. Aroha Savage (28)

9. Kendra Cocksedge (42, co-vice captain)

10. Ruahei Demant (0)

11. Alena Saili (0)

12. Theresa Fitzpatrick (7)

13. Stacey Waaka (11)

14. Renee Wickliffe (30)

15. Selica Winiata (31, co-vice captain)

Reserves

16. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (19)

17. Cristo Tofa (0)

18. Leilani Perese (0)

19. Jackie Patea-Fereti (12)

20. Linda Itunu (34)

21. Kristina Sue (10)

22. Krysten Cottrell (0)

23. Chelsea Alley (15)