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Black Ferns keep to the status quo in quest for back-to-back wins

The Black Ferns are taking no chances in their bid to sweep the Wallaroos, naming an unchanged starting team for the return women’s rugby Test in Auckland on Saturday.

World champions New Zealand have already defended the Laurie O’Reilly Memorial Trophy after an emphatic 47-10 win in Perth last Saturday, maintaining their perfect 18-match record against Australia.

Yet coach Glenn Moore has called on the same XV to repeat the dose and even wants improvements as he expects to face a sterner challenge from the Australians 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,” Moore said.

“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.”

There are three changes to the Black Ferns bench, including a potential debut for outside back Grace Brooker, while there are recalls for lock Jackie Patea-Fereti and hooker Luka Connor.

Like last week, the match will be played before the men’s Bledisloe Cup Test.

Black Ferns: Selica Winiata, Renee Wickliffe, Carla Hohepa, Chelsea Alley, Ayesha Leti-l’iga, Ruahei Demant, Kendra Cocksedge, Charmaine McMenamin, Les Elder (c), Pia Tapsell, Charmaine Smith, Eloise Blackwell, Aleisha-Pearl Nelson, Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Toka Natua. Reserves: Luka Connor, Leilani Perese, Olivia Ward-Duin, Jackie Patea-Fereti, Kennedy Simon/ Joanah Ngan-Woo, Arihiana Marina-Tauhinu, Krysten Cottrell, Grace Brooker.

– AAP

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Black Ferns keep to the status quo in quest for back-to-back wins