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NZ stars vying for the black jersey

Some 52 players will vie for a Black Ferns jersey this weekend in a possibles v probables game which will be shown on national television in New Zealand. 

Black Ferns Head Coach Glenn Moore and his selectors have named the two teams for the Possibles v Probables match which kicks off the Black Ferns domestic season.

The games were put in place to counter the lack of test rugby for the World Champions in a World Cup year as a result of Coronavirus restrictions.

Black Ferns captain Les Elder, who returned to rugby having had a baby earlier this summer, is unavailable due to injury while Portia Woodman, who starred for Northland in the Farah Palmer Cup, scoring six tries in one game, has returned to the Black Ferns sevens squad.

“We’ve balanced experienced with new and up-and-coming players who have the potential to become names of the future. We are confident we have the right mix," Moore said.

“The adversity the players have faced this year has inspired them and that's been reflected by their performances. The result has been some of the best Farah Palmer Cup action the provincial coaches and I have seen. Knowing these trial squads would be named, and with Rugby World Cup next year, there has been huge motivation for everyone. 

“The challenge for the players now is to come together quickly in their respective squads, work as a team, and prepare for a tough match-up. The potential of being named in a Black Ferns squad in a couple of weeks will ramp the pressure up further. They will also be playing for, and representing, two charities.  It’s going to be a great couple of weeks.”

The match will be played at North Harbour Stadium on the North Shore and will raise money for charities with sponsors AIG donating $500 for every try scored during the match, and $200 for every successful conversion and penalty.


The Possibles team
Forwards: Alana Bremner (Canterbury), Amy Rule (Canterbury), Charmaine McMenamin (Auckland), Chelsea Bremner (Canterbury), Grace Houpapa-Barrett (Waikato), Joanah Ngan-Woo (Wellington), Katie Mata’u (Counties Manukau), Kendra Reynolds (Bay of Plenty), Kennedy Simon (Waikato), Krystal Murray (Northland), Pia Tapsell (Bay of Plenty), Pip Love (Canterbury), Saphire Abraham (Auckland), Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (Northland).
Backs: Carys Dallinger (Manawatu), Cheyelle Robins-Reti (Waikato), Grace Brooker (Canterbury), Hazel Tubic (Counties Manukau), Iritana Hohaia (Taranaki), Janna Vaughan (Manawatu), Kendra Cocksedge (Canterbury), Kilisitina Moata’ane (Dunedin), Monica Tagoai (Wellington), Natahlia Moors (Auckland), Rosie Kelly (Otago), Selica Winiata (Manawatu).

The Probables team
Forwards: Aldora Itunu (Auckland), Aleisha-Pearl Nelson (Auckland), Aroha Savage (Northland), Cristo Tofa (Auckland), Eloise Blackwell (Auckland), Jay Jay Taylor (North Harbour), Kaipo Olsen-Baker (Manawatu), Kelsie Wills (Bay of Plenty), Lisa Molia (Counties Manukau), Luka Connor (Bay of Plenty), Maia Roos (Auckland), Marcelle Parkes (Wellington), Rebecca Todd (Canterbury), Toka Natua (Waikato).
Backs: Amy Du Plessis (Otago), Ariana Bayler (Waikato), Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (Counties Manukau), Carla Hohepa (Waikato), Chelsea Alley (Waikato), Grace Steinmetz (Canterbury), Langi Veainu (Counties Manukau), Lyric Falaefaga (Wellington), Martha Lolohea (Canterbury), Patricia Maliepo (Auckland), Renee Holmes (Waikato), Ruahei Demant (Auckland).

Unavailable for selection due to injury: Forne Burkin (Hawke's Bay), Ayesha Leti-I'iga (Wellington), Les Elder (Bay of Plenty), Renee Wicklife (Bay of Plenty), Liana Mikaele Tu'u (Hawke's Bay), Tanya Kalouivale (Waikato) and Lauren Balsille (Manawatu).

Possible and Probables coaching staff

Possibles - for UpsideDowns
Head Coach: Chad Shepherd (Counties Manukau Heat)
Assistant Coaches: Anna Richards (Auckland Storm) and Scott Manson (Otago Spirit)

Probables - for Graeme Dingle Foundation 
Head Coach: Rodney Gibbs (Bay of Plenty Volcanix)
Assistant Coaches: Melissa Ruscoe (Canterbury) and Willie Walker (North Harbour Hibiscus)

Black Ferns November schedule

Saturday, 7 November
Possibles v Probables presented by Steinlager
North Harbour Stadium, North Shore
Kick-off: 2.05pm

Saturday, 14 November
Black Ferns v New Zealand Barbarians presented by Downer
The Trusts Arena, Waitakere in Auckland
Kick-off: 4.35pm
NB: this match is part of a women’s rugby triple header match day which includes NZ Defence Force v NZ Police (11.35am), and a RWC 2021 qualification match between Samoa v Tonga (2.05pm).

Saturday, 21 November
Black Ferns v New Zealand Barbarians presented by Downer
Trafalgar Park, Nelson
Kick-off: 4.35pm