Black Ferns sweating on prop injury ahead of Auckland Test

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Black Ferns are sweating on the recovery of tighthead Aldora Itunu ahead of their clash with the Wallaroos on Saturday.

Itunu was influential in Saturday's opening Test but was named as a bracketed starter for the second Test after an injury in last week's match.

If Itunu fails to shake off the niggle she will be replaced by Leilani Perese in the front row and Aleisha Nelson will come off the bench.

Itunu's concern is the only potential change to the lineup that beat the Wallaroos 31-11 in the first Laurie O'Reilly Memorial Trophy Test.

Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore said he expected his team to improve on their first Test outing in Sydney last week.

"We've obviously spent the week reviewing our performance and identifying where we need to fine tune," he said.

"In Sydney we adjusted our gameplan when Australia started shutting down our outside backs. Our forwards really stepped up and helped us get the points.

"It showed we have the ability to be nimble but we’ve talked about the fact we created opportunities, and didn’t always finish them. This weekend is our chance to apply some polish and convert those opportunities into points.

“He said there had been a few nerves going in to the Sydney match but they were now gone with a Test under the belt.

“This week I’m expecting everyone will improve even more and I’m looking forward to seeing what the team can deliver.”

The Wallaroos take on the Black Ferns on Saturday at Eden Park at 3pm AEST. The Wallabies face the All Blacks at Eden Park on Saturday, kicking off at 5:35pm AEST, 7:35pm local, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and Channel Ten.


Black Ferns to face Wallaroos

1.Phillipa Love (3)

2. Fiao'o Faamausili (53, Captain)

3. Aldora Itunu (16) / Leilani Perese (1)

4. Eloise Blackwell (33)

5. Charmaine Smith (17)

6. Charmaine McMenamin (15)

7.Les Elder (10)

8. Aroha Savage (29)

9. Kendra Cocksedge (43, Vice Captain)

10. Ruahei Demant (1)

11. Alena Saili (1)

12. Theresa Fitzpatrick (8)

13. Stacey Waaka (12)

14.Renee Wickliffe (31)

15.Selica Winiata (32, Vice Captain)


16. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (21)

17.Cristo Tofa (1)

18.Leilani Perese (1) / Aleisha Nelson (26)

19.Jackie Patea-Fereti (13)

20.Linda Itunu (36)

21. Kristina Sue (11)

22. Krysten Cottrell (1)

23. Chelsea Alley (16)