23 Aug 2018

Black Ferns name unchanged side for second Test against Australia

11:16 am on 23 August 2018

The Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore has named an unchanged side to take on Australia in the second Test at Eden Park on Saturday.

The New Zealanders won the first game 31-11 in Sydney last weekend.

Black Ferns.

Black Ferns. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Prop Aldora Itunu has been bracketed with Leilani Perese.

Moore says Itunu has progressed well this week after sustaining a minor injury in Sydney and is expected to retain the propping duties.

Moore has placed his faith in a side that contained five players making their Test debuts in Sydney, including newcomers Ruahei Demant who will retain director duties at first-five-eighth, and Southland winger Alena Saili.

He said while the new-look team had stepped up and taken on the big occasion of the first Test of 2018, there were areas for improvement.

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

"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."

Black Ferns back Ruahei Demant on attack.

Black Ferns back Ruahei Demant on attack. Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2018 www.photosport.nz

Moore said the team had loved being in Auckland which is home for many of the players and were excited about the chance to play in front of a big crowd at Eden Park.

"Family is very, very important to the Black Ferns. We always have a sense of responsibility that when we go out there, we're representing our country and families. The desire to really perform at Eden Park is huge for us.

"We've been looking forward to this home match for a long time and hope everyone comes early to see first-hand the exciting kind of rugby these two teams will play."

The Black Ferns squad is: (Test caps in Brackets):

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)