Black Ferns team to play Australia for the O’Reilly Cup

The Black Ferns have set their squad to play Australia in the O'Reilly Cup this weekend as they look to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Canada.

World Cup champion Rene Holmes returns to the starting line-up at full-back, while star Alana Brember also returns to the starting line-up.

To accommodate Holmes' return, Mirirangi Paul has moved to the right wing in place of Ruby Tui while Katelyn Vahakulu remains on the left wing after two tries last week.

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A change at half-time saw co-captain Ruahi Demant and midfielder Maya Joseph move to the bench to finish the match, with the starting roles handed to Hurricane duo Boa Iritana Hohaia and Hannah King.

In a rearrangement of the back row, Kaipo Olsen-Baker starts at number eight after his impressive appearance as a substitute, while Liana Michaeli-Toe moves to the blindside and co-captain Kennedy Simon lines up at the openside.

Prop Amy Rule won her first start of the season, alongside Georgia Ponsonby and Chryss Viliko in the front row.

“We learned some important lessons from our match against Canada. This is now our chance to move forward and take on the next challenge against Australia,” said coach Alan Ponting.

“There is a great rivalry between our two countries, we know Australia is recovering from some pain as well and we know how well they played at the end of last year.

“We are looking forward to seeing the change in our mental setup this week.

“Along with this, we have fifteen renewed players, which increases the depth of our squad, and gives them a chance to show their abilities in another intense battle.”

The Black Ferns team that will play Australia is (Test caps in parentheses);

1. Chris Velico (4)
2. Georgia Ponsonby (22)
3. EMI rule (21)
4. Maiakawanakulani Ross (23)
5. Alana Bremner (19)
6. Liana Michaeli II (20)
7. Kennedy Simon (Assistant Captain) (22)
8. Kaibo Olsen-Baker (4)
9. Eritana Hohaya (8)
10. Hannah King (1)
11. Katelyn Vahakolo (8)
12. Logo-i-Pulotu Lemapu-Atai'i (Sylvia) Brant (15)
13. Amy du Plessis (16)
14. Mirirangi Bull (7)
15. Renee Holmes (16)

16. Luca Connor (22)
17. Marcel Parks (5)
18. Aldora Ituno (25)
19. Charmaine Smith (31)
20. Laila Saei (5)
21. Maya Joseph (2)
22. Ruahi Dimant (co-leader) (35)
23. Grace Steinmetz (2)


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