15 Aug 2019

Black Ferns stick with same fifteen for second Test

9:19 am on 15 August 2019

Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore has stuck with the same starting XV for the second Laurie O'Rielly Memorial Trophy game against Australia in Auckland on Saturday.

Selica Winiata of the Black Ferns dives over the line for a Try during the Rugby Test match between the New Zealand Black Ferns and the Wallaroos, Perth 2019.


The New Zealanders scored a convincing 47-10 win over Australia in the opening game in Perth last weekend.

There are three changes in the reserves with uncapped Canterbury utility back Grace Brooker, experienced Wellington lock Jackie Patea-Fereti, and Bay of Plenty hooker Luka Connor all being added to the 23.

Twenty-year-old Brooker is the youngest player in the side and is equally comfortable at centre, fullback and wing.

Contracted to the Black Ferns in 2018 in her first year out of secondary school, Brooker has been a standout for the Farah Palmer Cup-winning Canterbury side.

Moore said she was an athlete with a big future in the black jersey.

"Grace may be young, but she's very mature for her age. We've been impressed with her for a while now. Her skill level and work ethic is outstanding. She's talented on her feet and has had magnificent improvement in her speed times.

"We believe she's ready to take the next step up. Saturday night is her opportunity to bring together everything she's learned and deliver on the field."

Grace Brooker of Canterbury scores a try


Patea-Fereti was absent from the Super Series in San Diego recovering from a shoulder injury and Moore said she was now back to full fitness. Forne Burkin is replaced by Connor as back-up hooker for starter Te Kura Ngata-Aerengemate.

Despite the convincing 47-10 score line over the Australians in Perth, Moore said the team was taking nothing for granted and were aiming to raise the bar at Eden Park.

"When we looked at the footage it was really clear we created a lot of opportunities for points which we didn't follow through on. We need to improve some of our one-on-one tackling and the physicality that goes with that.

"We're expecting Australia to bring more physicality to the game too, and to be more clinical. They'll better from that game last week and have improved a lot since last year," he said.

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

1. Toka Natua (21)

2. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (29)

3. Aleisha-Pearl Nelson (34)

4. Eloise Blackwell (42)

5. Charmaine Smith (26)

6. Pia Tapsell (5)

7. Les Elder (Captain,17)

8. Charmaine McMenamin (23)

9. Kendra Cocksedge (Vice captain, 52)

10. Ruahei Demant (10)

11. Ayesha Leti-I'iga (8)

12. Chelsea Alley (23)

13. Carla Hohepa (23)

14. Renee Wickliffe, (40)

15. Selica Winiata (Vice captain, 39)

16. Luka Connor (3)

17. Leilani Perese (10)

18. Olivia Ward-Duin (1)

19. Jackie Patea-Fereti (17)

20. Kennedy Simon (3)/Joanah Ngan-Woo (3)

21. Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (5)

22. Krysten Cottrell (7)

23. Grace Brooker*