15 Nov 2018

Black Ferns stick with same side for second French Test

7:05 am on 15 November 2018

The Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore has stuck with the same starting fifteen for the second Test against France in Grenoble this weekend.

In the only change to the squad Auckland wing Natahlia Moors is set to make her debut off the bench.

Black Ferns.

Black Ferns. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Black Ferns won the opening Test 14-nil in Toulon last weekend.

Moore said he was proud of the way the Black Ferns had risen to the challenge of their first encounter against France in Toulon last week.

"We expected the French to come out firing and they did just that. This weekend we're expecting that level of intensity to ramp up a notch.

"The players have recovered well and we've been upping the intensity all week in preparation. Having an extra day up our sleeves has given us more time to further refine our game plans and manage a couple of minor injuries."

Moore said 22-year-old Moors was another of the new, young crop of players determined to make their mark in rugby.

Natahlia Moors scores a try for Auckland.

Natahlia Moors scores a try for Auckland. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"Natahlia has a fantastic work ethic and it shows. She's had a great Farah Palmer Cup and has really stood out in this environment. Her role is to come off the bench and make a difference, and we're confident she will do that. We're looking forward to seeing her get out there and make her mark."

The line-up sees a more traditional five forwards and three backs named for the bench, a shift from the six forwards and two backs named last week.

Moore said after analysis of last week's match and consideration of anticipated drier conditions, changing the make up of the reserves was the correct approach.

A large crowd was expected for the afternoon match on Saturday, an opportunity the team would relish, according to their coach.

Glenn Moore

Glenn Moore Photo: Photosport

"Every time this team pulls on a black jersey they want to put out their best performance, and this Saturday will be no exception. This will be their last Test match for 2018 and we all want to finish on a high. It's going to be high intensity and we will need to retain our composure.

"We expected that kind of physicality from the French because we had two powerful forward packs trying to assert dominance over each other. I thought we fronted that part of it really well.

"We're well aware that France will be wanting to put a stop to us finishing on top and that just spurs us on more. The team is pumped to put on another great performance," Moore said.

The team is (number of caps in brackets, * denotes debut):

1. Phillipa Love (6)

2. Fiao'o Faamausili (56, captain)

3. Aldora Itunu (19)

4. Eloise Blackwell (36)

5. Charmaine Smith (20)

6. Charmaine McMenamin (18)

7. Les Elder (13)

8. Aroha Savage (32)

9. Kendra Cocksedge (46, vice captain)

10. Krysten Cottrell (4)

11. Ayesha Leti-I'iga (2)

12. Ruahei Demant (4)

13. Stacey Waaka (15)

14. Renee Wickliffe (34)

15. Selica Winiata (35, vice captain)

16. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (24)

17. Leilani Perese (4)

18. Aleisha-Pearl Nelson (28)

19. Jackie Patea-Fereti (16)

20. Linda Itunu (39)

21. Kristina Sue (14)

22. Monica Tagaoi (2)

23. Natahlia Moors*