16 Oct 2018

Six debutants for Black Ferns triple header

12:00 pm on 16 October 2018

Six players are set to make their Black Ferns rugby debut in their upcoming triple header in the United States and two match tour of France.

Natahlia Moors scores a try for Auckland.

Natahlia Moors scores a try for Auckland. Photo: © Copyright Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz Photosport Ltd 2018

Young back's Ayesha Leti-I'iga, Kilisitina Moata'ane and Natahlia Moors received the call-up from Moore following stong Farah Palmer Cup seasons.

Nineteen-year-old Wellington wing Leti-I'iga has scored a combined total of 52 tries for her club and province this year, including 11 tries in the 2018 Farah Palmer Cup.

Coach Glen Moore said the trio possessed everything a coach wanted in a back; explosive speed, tenacity and great footwork.

"They've all stood out in the FPC and all three players deserve their selection. This trio will add a lot of firepower to our backline and I'm looking forward to seeing what they can achieve in the Black Ferns environment."

Also in line to make their Black Ferns debuts are forwards Joanah Ngan-Woo, Marcelle Parkes and back Monica Tagoai, who were all part of the squad for the two-Test series against Australia.

Black Ferns Sevens players Theresa Fitzpatrick and Alena Saili were unavailable for selection due to Black Ferns Sevens commitments, but Stacey Waaka was included as a utility back.

Moore has largely retained the players who were part of the squad who successfully retained the Laurie O'Reilly Memorial Trophy in their August Tests against Australia.

Fiao'o Faamausili, the most-capped Black Fern (54 caps) will skipper the side and Selica Winiata (33 caps) and Kendra Cocksedge (44 caps) have been named as co-vice captains.

Moore said his squad were excited about the prospect of playing the USA at Soldier Field in Chicago (November 3rd) as part of a triple header which includes Tests between the Maori All Blacks and the USA and Ireland against Italy.

"We last played the USA in a World Cup semi-final last year and they are a very fit and fast team. Playing them in a venue like that on their home turf will be a fantastic experience. To be on the other side of the world with the Maori All Blacks makes it all the more special for us."

The Black Ferns squad to tour the USA and France is (Test caps in brackets. * New cap):


Eloise Blackwell (34) Auckland

Les Elder (nee Ketu) (11) Bay of Plenty

Fiao'o Faamausili (54) (captain) Auckland

Aldora Itunu (17) Auckland

Linda Itunu (37) Auckland

Pip Love (4) Canterbury

Charmaine McMenamin (16) Auckland

Aleisha Nelson (26) Auckland

Joanah Ngan-Woo* Wellington

Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (22) Counties Manukau

Marcelle Parkes* Wellington

Jackie Patea-Fereti (14) Wellington

Leilani Perese (2) Counties Manukau

Aroha Savage (30) Counties Manukau

Charmaine Smith (18) Auckland

Cristo Tofa (2) North Harbour


Chelsea Alley (17) Waikato

Kendra Cocksedge (44) (vc) Canterbury

Krysten Cottrell (2) Hawke's Bay

Kiritapu Demant (2) Auckland

Ruahei Demant (2) Auckland

Ayesha Leti-I'iga* Wellington

Kilisitina Moata'ane* Otago

Natahlia Moors* Auckland

Kristina Sue (12) Manawatu

Monica Tagoai* Wellington

Stacey Waaka (13) Waikato

Renee Wickliffe (32) Bay of Plenty

Selica Winiata (33) (vc) Manawatu