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Black Ferns bring back big guns for quarter-final clash

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Hannah Peters - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Black Ferns coaches have named a powerful match day 23 for their Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Wales, with the return of co-captain Kennedy Simon from injury.


Simon will make her World Cup debut off the bench, while Stacey Fluhler, Ruby Tui and Portia Woodman all return to the starting backline.

The teams go head to head at the Northland Events Centre, Whang?rei on Saturday night at 7.30pm.

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Going into the quarter-final there is only one change to the starting forward pack with Chelsea Bremner joining up with Maiakawanakaulani Roos in the second row.

Co-Captain Ruahei Demant returns to the starting line-up at first five-eighths, connecting with Kendra Cocksedge at halfback, while Theresa Fitzpatrick and Stacey Fluhler combine in the midfield for the first time this season.

A powerful back three of Ayesha Leti-I’iga, Portia Woodman and Ruby Tui round out the exciting starting line-up.

The Black Ferns met Wales in week two of the Rugby World Cup, securing a 56-12 victory at Waitakere Stadium.


Assistant Coach Wesley Clarke said the team is thankful to face another northern hemisphere opponent in the quarter-finals.

“We are going to get some mauls and some good scrums; where they really challenged us last time, so that is a good thing.

“There was a lot of stuff in our last game that wasn’t up to our standards so that is what we have been focusing on this week,” said Clarke.

Black Ferns v Wales previous results (all played at World Cups)


1991: Black Ferns 24 – Wales 6
2010: Black Ferns 41 – Wales 8
2014: Black Ferns 63 – Wales 7
2017: Black Ferns 44 – Wales 12
2022: Black Ferns 56 – Wales 12

Black Ferns team to face Wales:

1. Phillipa Love (22)
2. Georgia Ponsonby (10)
3. Amy Rule (9)
4. Maiakawanakaulani Roos (11)
5. Chelsea Bremner (9)
6. Alana Bremner (10)
7. Sarah Hirini (14)
8. Liana Mikaele-Tu’u (9)
9. Kendra Cocksedge (65)
10. Ruahei Demant (24)
11. Ayesha Leti-I’iga (18)
12. Theresa Fitzpatrick (15)
13. Stacey Fluhler (22)
14. Portia Woodman (22)
15. Ruby Tui (7)


16. Luka Connor (11)
17. Krystal Murray (6)
18. Santo Taumata (4)
19. Joanah Ngan-Woo (14)
20. Kennedy Simon (10)
21. Ariana Bayler (6)
22. Hazel Tubic (20)
23. Renee Holmes (7)

-Press Release/NZR



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