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Black Ferns Development XV to play Papua New Guinea named

Black Ferns Development XV to play Papua New Guinea named

Black Ferns Development XV Head Coach Wayne Maxwell has named his side to play Papua New Guinea in the 2019 Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship on Tuesday at Churchill Park in Fiji.

The team is:

1. Eilis Doyle Otago
2. Saphire Abraham Auckland
3. Leilani Perese Counties Manukau
4. Chelsea Bremner Canterbury
5. Joanah Ngan-Woo Wellington
6. Alana Bremner Canterbury
7. Kennedy Simon Waikato
8. Pia Tapsell North Harbour
9. Melanie Puckett Canterbury
10. Amanda Rasch Wellington
11. Natahlia Moors Auckland
12. Martha Lolohea Canterbury
13. Kilisitina Moata’ane Otago
14. Langi Veainu Counties Manukau
15. Grace Brooker (C) Canterbury
16. Luka Connor Bay of Plenty
17. Angel Mulu Bay of Plenty
18. Amy Rule Canterbury
19. Ilisapeta Molia Counties Manukau
20. Kendra Reynolds Bay of Plenty
21. Rosie Kelly Otago
22. Hazel Tubic Counties Manukau
23. Lauren Balsillie Manawatu

Grace Brooker will captain the side at fullback, with usual skipper and Counties Manukau halfback Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu being rested. Canterbury’s Melanie Puckett will start at number 9 pairing with Wellington’s Amanda Rasch at number 10 – who has also made the move from reserves.

Auckland’s Saphire Abraham was named as hooker, alongside Eilis Doyle from Otago at loosehead prop, and both have made the starting 15 for the first time after impressing off the reserves bench.

The development side has two wins from two matches beating Fiji in their opening match 53-0, and Australia A 50-0 last week.

Maxwell said he felt his side’s defence had ratcheted up a notch against Australia A.

“I was particularly proud of our defensive effort in the last quarter. Australia had us on our goal line, continually attacking, but we managed to make sure they came away with no points.

“We will be looking to repeat that level of play against Paupa New Guinea. So far this tour we’ve seen some outstanding talent emerge. Some of them have played a full 80 minutes in really hot conditions. They have stepped up and stood out.

“This week our plan is to give some of the players who have had fewer minutes more game time and the opportunity to show us what they can do. We’ve recovered well in a short space of time and we’re ready to finish this tournament the same way we started.” he said.

It is the first time a Black Ferns Development XV side has taken part in the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship which includes Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Australia A.

The Black Ferns and Australia have qualified for 2021 Rugby World Cup and will play in pool matches only.

All matches will be screened live on SKY Sport 1.

2019 Oceania Rugby Women’s Rugby Championship

Monday, 18 November
Black Ferns 53 v 00 Fiji

Friday 22 November
Black Ferns 50 v 00 Australia A

Tuesday 26 November
1.30pm Black Ferns v Papua New Guinea

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