Black Ferns announce squad ahead of Test against Wallaroos

Black Ferns will be facing Wallaroos on Thursday night in Brisbane
Black Ferns will be facing Wallaroos on Thursday night in Brisbane

Black Ferns head coach Allan Bunting has named six debutants in the squad ahead of the O'Reilly Cup clash with Australia scheduled on Thursday in Brisbane.

Bay of Plenty loosehead prop Kate Henwood, former New Zealand Rugby League representative Katelyn Vahaakolo, who is set to become a dual international and Chiefs Manawa's Mererangi Paul are part of the starting line-up.

Hurricanes Poua halfback Iritana Hohaia, Matatu first five-eighth Rosie Kelly and Black Ferns Sevens player Tenika Willison are set to make their debut when they come off the bench.

Bunting said the debutants have earned their selection in the squad and is eager to see them perform at the international stage.

"Each of these ladies have been impressive on and off the field and now have the opportunity to represent their country, it will be a special occasion for them and their whanau and one they should be proud of. We are all excited for them and looking forward seeing how they go," said Bunting.

Ruahei Demant starts at fly-half and will form halfback partnership with Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu while Liana Mikaele-Tu’u and Alana Bremner join Kennedy Simon at back row. Maiakawanakaulani Roos and Chelsea Bremner are at lock. The back three will see Vahaakolo and Paul on the wings, with Renee Holmes named at fullback.

Black Ferns squad:

1. Kate Henwood, 2. Georgia Ponsonby, 3. Tanya Kalounivale, 4. Maiakawanakaulani Roos, 5. Chelsea Bremner, 6. Alana Bremner, 7. Kennedy Simon, 8. Liana Mikaele-Tu’u, 9. Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, 10. Ruahei Demant, 11. Katelyn Vahaakolo, 12. Logo-I-Pulotu Lemapu Atai’i, 13. Amy du Plessis, 14. Mererangi Paul, 15. Renee Holmes, 16. Luka Connor, 17. Krystal Murray, 18. Amy Rule, 19. Joanah Ngan Woo, 20. Kendra Reynolds, 21. Iritana Hohaia, 22. Rosie Kelly, 23. Tenika Willison