Black Fern Layla Sae, named for her first Test start. Photo credit: NZ Rugby, Rachael Whareaitu.
The Black Ferns coaching group of Allan Bunting, Steve Jackson, Mike Delany and Tony Christie have announced the team to take on Wales in their second match of the inaugural WXV1 Tournament this Saturday afternoon (4.00pm), in Dunedin at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Following their intense clash against France last weekend, seven changes have been made to the match day 23 to take on Wales.
Loosehead prop Kate Henwood, lock Chelsea Bremner, loose forward Layla Sae and winger Mererangi Paul earn their first start of the WXV1 Tournament. On the bench, experienced forwards Krystal Murray and Alana Bremner will be a force when injected into the match alongside halfback Iritana Hohaia.
Black Ferns team is:
1. Kate Henwood (2)
2. Georgia Ponsonby (18)
3. Amy Rule (17)
4. Maiakawanakaulani Roos (19)
5. Chelsea Bremner (16)
6. Layla Sae (1)
7. Kennedy Simon (18) (Co-Captain)
8. Liana Mikaele-Tu’u (16)
9. Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (17)
10. Ruahei Demant (31) (Co-Captain)
11. Mererangi Paul (3)
12. Logo-I-Pulotu Lemapu Atai’i (Sylvia) Brunt (11)
13. Amy du Plessis (12)
14. Ruby Tui (11)
15. Renee Holmes (14)
16. Luka Connor (18)
17. Krystal Murray (12)
18. Tanya Kalounivale (11)
19. Alana Bremner (17)
20. Lucy Jenkins (4)
21. Iritana Hohaia (4)
22. Patricia Maliepo (5)
23. Martha Mataele (2)
This will be the first time since 1997 that the Black Ferns have played in Dunedin in what will be an historic match-up between the Black Ferns and their Welsh rivals.
The Welsh challenge will be a special Test for Black Ferns lock Maiakawanakaulani Roos who is set to play her 20th Test for the Black Ferns, while it will mark Black Fern number 221, Renee Holmes’ 15th Test for the team.
Black Ferns Director of Rugby Allan Bunting said the team are rapt to be in Dunedin and were looking forward to the challenge Wales presents.
“There was plenty to be proud about our game against France, and we were pleased with the growth our wāhine displayed in certain aspects of our game. We needed to be smarter about where our energy is used against quality teams like France. As a coaching group too, we can be better at how we prepare our wāhine moving forward. We see that game as a gift for us at this stage of our journey as we shift our focus to Wales, and we have been working well at making critical adjustments as a group. I know the team are eager to get back out on the field against a quality Welsh side and play the game on our terms a bit more down here in beautiful Dunedin at this awesome stadium.”
- Maiakawanakaulani Roos is in-line to play her 20th Test.
- Renee Holmes will play her 15th Test.
- This will be Layla Sae’s first Test start.
- The Black Ferns last played in Dunedin in 1997 at Carisbrook against Australia. This is the only Black Ferns Test to have been played in Dunedin.
- Twenty players in the Black Ferns WXV1 Squad were not born when the last Test was played in Dunedin.
- Saturday’s Test will be the first Black Ferns Test played at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
All matches of the WXV1 will be broadcast live on Sky Sport and Prime.
WXV1 Schedule (New Zealand times and dates listed)
Black Ferns v Wales, Saturday 28 October, 4.00pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium, DUNEDIN
Black Ferns v England, Saturday 4 November, 7.00pm, Go Media Stadium, AUCKLAND
Black Ferns 17 v France 18, Saturday 21 October, Sky Stadium, WELLINGTON