2019 Black Ferns

  • The list of 2019 contracted Black Ferns players has been published (* denotes first-time contracts):

    Eloise Blackwell (Auckland)
    Luka Connor * (Bay of Plenty)
    Lesley Elder (Bay of Plenty)
    Karli Faneva * (Bay of Plenty)
    Aldora Itunu (Auckland)
    Phillipa Love (Canterbury)
    Charmaine McMenamin (Auckland)
    Toka Natua (Waikato)
    Aleisha Nelson (Auckland)
    Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (Counties Manukau)
    Marcelle Parkes (Wellington)
    Jackie Patea-Fereti (Wellington)
    Leilani Perese (Counties Manukau)
    Charmaine Smith (Auckland)
    Harono Te Iringa (Counties Manukau)
    Cristo Tofa (North Harbour)

    Chelsea Alley (Waikato)
    Grace Brooker (Canterbury)
    Kendra Cocksedge (Canterbury)
    Krysten Cottrell (Hawke's Bay)
    Ruahei Demant (Auckland)
    Dhys Faleafaga (Wellington)
    Ayesha Leti-I’iga (Wellington)
    Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu * (Counties Manukau)
    Kilisitina Moata'ane (Otago)
    Natahlia Moors * (Auckland)
    Monica Tagoai (Wellington)
    Renee Wickliffe (Bay of Plenty)
    Selica Winiata (Manawatu)

    Black Ferns Head Coach Glenn Moore said he and the selectors believed balancing new and experienced players was crucial for creating greater depth in the Black Ferns squad.
    “We’re confident we have the mix right. We’re in the fortunate position of being able to draw on the experience and skill of seasoned players like Kendra Cocksedge, Selica Winiata and Eloise Blackwell and pair them with new talent, like Luka Connor and Karli Faneva.
    Moore said all four of the newly contracted players impressed selectors with not only their performances in the Farah Palmer Cup last year, but also their determination to keep striving and improving outside of the provincial competition.
    He said the contracted players have plenty of motivation going into their local club season too as they weren’t necessarily guaranteed a spot in the 2019 Black Ferns squad and the coveted black jersey.
    “We have several Black Ferns training camps coming up in the next few months and we’ll be bringing in extra players from the wider training squad. That’s when we’ll get a better idea of how everyone is tracking.”
    The contracted players will be part of the newly developed programmes for women in the Provincial Unions.
    Confirmation of the full 2019 Black Ferns international programme is expected in the coming weeks and the first Black Ferns training camp of the year is set for 9 and 10 March in Palmerston North. 

    2019 Test matches (more to be announced):

    Laurie O’Reilly Memorial Trophy

    • Sat 10 August: Wallaroos v Black Ferns (Perth)
    • Sat 17 August: Black Ferns v Wallaroos (Auckland)
      (both tests are double headers with Bledisloe Cup matches)


  • That's great, the Women's Super Series is back! The five highest ranked nations playing each other. Add the Laurie O’Reilly Memorial Trophy tests against Australia in August, and the Black Ferns will play at least 6 tests this year.

  • Bay of Plenty’s Les Elder has been named as captain for a new look 2019 Black Ferns squad featuring 10 uncapped players.
    Elder (13), a specialist number 7, made her debut in the black jersey in 2015 and was part of the 2017 World Cup winning squad. Kendra Cocksedge (47) and Selica Winiata (36) have been named as co-vice captains. 
    Moore has included seven new forwards and three backs. Three of the uncapped players have been named in previous squads but are yet to have their start in the black jersey. 
    The seven new caps are: Karli Faneva (Bay of Plenty), Luka Connor (Bay of Plenty), Forne Burkin (Canterbury), Kennedy Simon (Waikato), Harono Te Iringa (Counties Manukau), Grace Brooker (Canterbury) and Pia Tapsell (North Harbour). 
    Joanah Ngan-Woo (Wellington), Kilisitina Moata-ana (Otago) and Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (Counties Manukau) have all been named in the squad previously and haven't had their debut.

    The Black Ferns squad is (Test caps in brackets, new caps in bold).

    Eloise Blackwell (37) Auckland
    Forne Burkin Canterbury
    Luka Connor Bay of Plenty

    Les Elder (Captain, 13) Bay of Plenty
    Karli Faneva Bay of Plenty
    Aldora Itunu (20) Auckland
    Phillipa Love (7) Canterbury
    Charmaine McMenamin (19) Auckland
    Toka Natua (16) Waikato
    Aleisha-Pearl Nelson (29) Auckland
    Joanah Ngan Woo Wellington
    Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (23) Counties Manukau
    Marcelle Parkes (2) Wellington
    Leilani Perese (5) Counties Manukau
    Kennedy Simon Waikato
    Charmaine Smith (21) Auckland
    Pia Tapsell North Harbour
    Harono Te Iringa Counties Manukau

    Cristo Tofa Auckland

    Chelsea Alley (18) Waikato
    Kelly Brazier (37) Bay of Plenty
    Grace Brooker Canterbury
    Kendra Cocksedge (Co-Vice Captain, 47) Canterbury
    Krysten Cottrell (5) Hawke's Bay
    Kiritapu Demant (2) Bay of Plenty
    Ruahei Demant (5) Auckland
    Theresa Fitzpatrick (9) Auckland
    Carla Hohepa (19) Waikato
    Ayesha Leti-Iinga (3) Wellington
    Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu Counties Manukau
    Kilisitina Moata'ane Otago

    Natahlia Moors (1) Auckland
    Alena Saili (2) Southland
    Renee Wickliffe (35) Bay of Plenty
    Selica Winiata (Co-Vice Captain, 36) Manawatu

    *Not considered due to injury: Monica Tagoai (Wellington) and Jackie Patea-Fereti (Wellington).

    Moore and his selectors have included three Black Ferns Sevens players, in Kelly Brazier, Theresa Fitzpatrick and Alena Saili after they made themselves available for consideration with the support of their Sevens coaches. 
    He said all three players had all previously been part of the Black Ferns 15s programme and were keen to continue to be included if, and when, circumstances allowed.
    “We know the priority for the Black Ferns Sevens is the Tokyo Olympics and the players’ welfare is always our top concern. These players are part of our squad and have the blessing of their sevens coaches to join us. We’re thrilled to have them on board.”

    Black Ferns 2019 schedule

    Women’s Rugby Super Series 2019 in San Diego, USA
    Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center

    Saturday, 29 June
    v Canada
    Kickoff: 11am (NZT)
    Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center

    Wednesday, 3 July
    v USA
    Kickoff: 12.15pm (NZT)
    Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center

    Sunday, 7 July
    v France
    Kickoff: 12.15pm (NZT)
    San Diego State University’s Torero Stadium

    Monday, 15 July
    v England
    Kickoff: 8am (NZT)

    Laurie O’Reilly Memorial Trophy
    Optus Stadium, Perth
    Saturday 10 August
    v Australia (With All Blacks v Australia)
    Kickoff: 7pm (NZT)

    Eden Park, Auckland
    Saturday 17 August
    v Australia (With All Blacks v Australia)
    Kickoff: 5pm (NZT)


  • Black Ferns touring squad for the 2019 Women’s Rugby Super Series:

    (Test caps in brackets, new caps *):

    Forne Burkin Canterbury*
    Luka Connor Bay of Plenty*
    Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (23) Counties Manukau

    Phillipa Love (7) Canterbury
    Toka Natua (16) Waikato
    Aleisha-Pearl Nelson (29) Auckland
    Leilani Perese (5) Counties Manukau
    Olivia Ward-Duin North Harbour*

    Eloise Blackwell (37) Auckland
    Karli Faneva Bay of Plenty*
    Joanah Ngan-Woo Wellington*
    Charmaine Smith (21) Auckland

    Loose Forwards
    Les Elder (Captain, 13) Bay of Plenty
    Charmaine McMenamin (19) Auckland
    Marcelle Parkes (2) Wellington
    Kennedy Simon Waikato*
    Pia Tapsell North Harbour*

    Kendra Cocksedge (Co-vice captain, 47) Canterbury
    Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu Counties Manukau*

    Chelsea Alley (18)	Waikato
    Kelly Brazier (37)	Bay of Plenty
    Krysten Cottrell (5)	Hawke's Bay
    Ruahei Demant (2)	Auckland
    Theresa Fitzpatrick (9)	Auckland

    This should obviously be:
    First five-eights
    Krysten Cottrell (5) Hawke's Bay
    Ruahei Demant (2) Auckland

    Chelsea Alley (18) Waikato
    Kelly Brazier (37) Bay of Plenty
    Theresa Fitzpatrick (9) Auckland

    Outside Backs
    Carla Hohepa (19) Waikato
    Ayesha Leti-I’iga (3) Wellington
    Natahlia Moors (1) Auckland
    Alena Saili (2) Southland
    Renee Wickliffe (35) Bay of Plenty
    Selica Winiata (Co-vice captain, 36) Manawatu

    Moore said Ward-Duin was called in late to the squad to cover for 20-Test cap Aldora Itunu who was recovering from a knee injury.
    Moore said Ward-Duin wouldn’t be alone in the rookie category as his squad included six new caps and Joanah Ngan-Woo (Wellington) and Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (Counties Manukau) who have been named in previous squads and are yet to make their debut. 
    “This is a very exciting squad – a real mix of experienced players and younger players ready to make their mark.
    “We will be facing four of the top teams in the world in USA, Canada, France and England – it’s going to be fantastic festival of rugby,” he said.

    Women’s Rugby Super Series 2019 in San Diego, USA

    Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center
    Saturday, 29 June
    v Canada
    Kickoff: 11am (NZT)

    Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center
    Wednesday, 3 July
    v USA
    Kickoff: 12.15pm (NZT)

    Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center
    Sunday, 7 July
    v France
    Kickoff: 9.15am (NZT)

    Torero Stadium
    Monday, 15 July
    v England
    Kickoff: 8am (NZT)

    The tests will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 1.


  • Black Ferns team to take on Canada (Sat 29 June 2019, 11.00am NZT - Sky Sport 1)

    1 Toka Natua (16)
    2 Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (24)
    3 Aleisha-Pearl Nelson (29)
    4 Eloise Blackwell (37)
    5 Charmaine Smith (21)
    6 Charmaine McMenamin (19)
    7 Les Elder (Captain, 13)
    8 Pia Tapsell*
    9 Kendra Cocksedge (Vice captain, 47)
    10 Ruahei Demant (5)
    11 Ayesha Leti-I'iga (3)
    12 Chelsea Alley (18)
    13 Carla Hohepa (19)
    14 Renee Wickliffe (35)
    15 Selica Winiata (Vice captain, 36)

    16 Luka Connor*
    17 Phillipa Love (7)
    18 Leilani Perese (5) / Olivia Ward-Duin*
    19 Karli Faneva*
    20 Marcelle Parkes (2)
    21 Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu*
    22 Krysten Cottrell (5)
    23 Alena Saili (2)

    North Harbour No.8 Pia Tapsell has been named to make her first Test start in the series opener.
    Tapsell, 20, has been a standout for her province where she has established herself as the most prolific try-scorer in North Harbour women’s rugby history.
    The Bay of Plenty pair, of hooker Luka Connor and loose forward Karli Faneva, Counties Manukau halfback Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu have all been named to make their Test debuts from the reserves. Ward-Duin is bracketed with Leilani Perese at this stage. 
    Centre Carla Hohepa and prop Toka Natua will wear the black jersey for the first time since the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup final in Belfast.
    Hohepa, 33, took time out to have a baby and Moore said the speedy Waikato midfielder/wing was back to her best form and eager to make her mark in the series.
    “Carla is a very experienced player and we’ve always believed she is world class. She’s worked hard to get back in great physical shape and shown some good signs in all the lead-up games. She’s also part of our leadership group and is influential on and off the field.”
    Moore said Natua – also from Waikato – had earned her selection in a highly competitive position.
    “We’ve decided to go with Toka in this instance. She was the player of the World Cup Final, she’s had a year off, she’s back, and we want to see what she brings.”


  • This test match will be broadcast on Sky Sport 1, but is at the same time as the Jaguares v Brumbies semi-final.
    There is a replay at 5.00pm on Sky Sport Pop-up 1 (channel 55) and highlights at 6.30pm on Sky Sport 1 (before Crusaders v Hurricanes).

  • I watched this game. NZ looked rusty for a while and the big Canadian pack had their moments but the Black Ferns did enough. Not one of Cocksedge's better games. The forwards will need to improve before the England and France matches.

    Final score 35-20.

  • @Bovidae Yeah, typical game for a squad that has had many personnel changes and hasn't played for a while. Combos didn't always work well. I guess that's what you get if you don't have a proper competition before you play test matches (like the All Blacks have Super Rugby; or the Black Ferns the Farah Palmer Cup before an EOYT).

    Don't think Cocksedge had a bad game; she just didn't stand out as usual. Great with the boot though. Only missed one kick at goal. Stand-outs for me were Blackwell and McMenamin in the forwards, and Alley and Leti-l'iga in the backs. Good cameo off the bench from Saili.

    It was clear that the conditions had some impact on the game, although the strong wind seemed to affect the Canadians more than the Kiwis. Their line-outs were terrible. It looked really hot in San Diego.

    Fortunately, the BFs will play the USA first, before taking on the two strongest opponents, France and England. Those two countries have the advantage of having played Premiership and Top 16 respectively, as well as the Six Nations.

    It will be interesting to see how they are going to rotate players with the next game already on Wednesday morning (NZT).

  • @Stargazer Not talking about goal kicking, which was good by both kickers, but Cocksedge's general kicking was poor (missed touch, aimless box kicks) and some of her options weren't great either.

    England beat the USA 38-5 so I'm not confident vs them or France.

  • Black Ferns squad to play the USA (Wednesday, 3 July - kickoff: 12.15pm (NZT) - live on Sky Sport 1)

    1 Phillipa Love (8)
    2 Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (25)
    3 Aleisha-Pearl Nelson (30)
    4 Eloise Blackwell (38)
    5 Charmaine Smith (22)
    6 Charmaine McMenamin (20)
    7 Les Elder (Captain, 14)
    8 Pia Tapsell (1)
    9 Kendra Cocksedge (Vice captain, 48)
    10 Ruahei Demant (6)
    11 Ayesha Leti-I'iga (4)
    12 Chelsea Alley (19)
    13 Carla Hohepa (20)
    14 Natahlia Moors (1)
    15 Renee Wickliffe (36)

    16 Forne Burkin*
    17 Toka Natua (17)
    18 Leilani Perese (6)
    19 Joanah Ngan-Woo*
    20 Kennedy Simon*
    21 Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (1)
    22 Kelly Brazier (37)
    23 Theresa Fitzpatrick (9)

    (* indicates BF debut)


  • Canada beat France 36-19.

  • @Bovidae Wow, I didn't see that coming! Canada were competitive against a BF team full of newbies, but France beat a more experienced BF squad in November! Maybe France have had a lot of changes as well since the 6 Nations ...

  • @Stargazer It was 3rd vs 4th in the rankings. They swapped after Canada's loss to NZ. I don't know the strength of the French team relative to the team that played in the 6N and beat NZ.

  • @Bovidae Maybe the changes to the French team were already made before the 6 Nations. I just checked, and they finished only 3rd, well behind England (of course) and just behind Italy (their women's team does better than their men's).


  • Black Ferns leading 14 - 0 after 20 minutes and completely dominating set piece. USA's scrambling defence has managed further damage, but I expect they can't do that for the full 80. I don't think they've played in NZ's half of the field, yet.

  • Half Time: Black Ferns 19 - 0 USA

    USA had more opportunities to attack in the second quarter but handling errors prevented them from scoring. Their hooker can't throw a ball straight. Only one or two good line-outs out of 10+.

    Ball handling from some BF players needs improvement, too.

  • Any further updates? Looked in at the game very briefly about 45 minutes ago and could not help notice that a mid week womens rugby game in a non rugby place on a working day does not appear to be a big crowd puller in terms of ticket sales.

  • @Higgins Apparently, they are playing on a training ground without stands (and a bad surface). People have to bring their own seats!

  • Temperature is only in the early 20s so I am surprised they are having quarter water breaks.

    France are up next before the big game - England.

  • Full time: New Zealand 33 - 0 USA (5 tries to nil)

    Good game from the BFs, completely dominating. Set piece was great. The USA did create some chances, but their hands let them down. I've never seen so many handling errors in one game! Their defence was better though.

    The BFs fielded quite a few debutants and there are some really good players among them.

    Of all the rookies, no. 8 Pia Tapsell and wing Ayesha Leti-I'iga impressed the most. I hope to see more of the new replacement halfback, Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu. Only got 17 minutes, but looked promising.

    As usual, Eloise Blackwell , Charmaine Smith and Charmaine McMenamin were among the best, and hooker Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate was solid, too. Brazier awesome as soon as she came on.

    It was quite funny to see how some of the American players just seemed to drop the ball when our big forwards came up in the rush defence. Like possums staring in headlights.

    Some of our backs, particularly Hohepa, need to work on their passing.

  • @Bovidae said in 2019 Black Ferns:

    Temperature is only in the early 20s so I am surprised they are having quarter water breaks.

    France are up next before the big game - England.

    I understand those water breaks are in fact ad breaks. It's the USA ...

  • @Stargazer

    @Stargazer said in 2019 Black Ferns:

    @Bovidae said in 2019 Black Ferns:

    Temperature is only in the early 20s so I am surprised they are having quarter water breaks.

    France are up next before the big game - England.

    I understand those water breaks are in fact ad breaks. It's the USA ...


  • Black Ferns team to play France (Sunday, 7 July 2019 - kick-off 9.15am - Live on Sky Sport 1):

    1 Toka Natua (18)
    2 Te Kura Ngata-Aerengemate (26)
    3 Aleisha-Pearl Nelson (31)
    4 Eloise Blackwell (Vice captain, 39)
    5 Charmaine Smith (23)
    6 Pia Tapsell (2)
    7 Marcelle Parkes (3)
    8 Charmaine McMenamin (21)
    9 Kendra Cocksedge (Captain, 49)
    10 Ruahei Demant (7)
    11 Ayesha Leti-I'iga (5)
    12 Kelly Brazier (38)
    13 Carla Hohepa (20)
    14 Renee Wickliffe (37)
    15 Selica Winiata (Vice captain, 37)

    16 Luka Connor (1)
    17 Phillipa Love (9)
    18 Leilani Perese (7)
    19 Karli Faneva (1)
    20 Kennedy Simon (1)
    21 Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (2)
    22 Chelsea Alley (20)
    23 Alena Saili (3)

    Halfback Kendra Cocksedge will captain the Black Ferns for her 50th Test match in the black jersey when the team plays France in San Diego on Sunday morning (NZT).
    Moore said captain, Les Elder, was being rested with an injury and Wellington's Marcelle Parkes would start at 7. Pia Tapsell moves to blindside flanker and Charmaine McMenamin into Number 8. 
    A milestone 12 years in the making, Taranaki-born Kendra Cocksedge, is regarded as one of the world's best halfbacks, and in 2018 she became the first female ever to win the Kelvin R Tremain New Zealand Rugby Player of the Year.
    Along with 50 Tests in the black jersey, Kendra also holds the Black Ferns record for highest number of points scored at 305.
    First selected for the national side in 2007 at age 19, Kendra has played in three World Cups and was named World Rugby Player of the Year in 2015. 
    In Canterbury's red and black, Cocksedge has clocked up a record 800 points in total over 12 seasons in the Farah Palmer Cup. Off the field she is New Zealand Rugby's Women's Rugby Development Manager for the Crusaders region. 
    Moore said Cocksedge played a huge role in the Black Ferns. 
    "Kendra directs the team around the field and she's been the best number nine in the world for a number of years now. She is relentless and very competative and she trains as hard as she plays." 
    He said Cocksedge was influential off the field as well, helping to set the culture of the Black Ferns.
    "It will be a very special moment on Saturday [local time] because she also gets to captain the team on her 50th outing."
    New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew has congratulated Cocksedge on her 50-Test achievement.
    "Kendra is an oustanding ambassador for our game and her pursuit of excellence is impressive.
    "I know Kendra well personally, and she embodies the spirit and culture of the Black Ferns both on and off the field. Her enthusiasm for her sport is infectious and her skill on the field is world-leading. She is among New Zealand's greatest players - as her New Zealand Rugby Player of the Year Award last year attests.
    "Kendra's legacy not ony inspires young players to want to be like her, it also motivates those around her." 
    New Zealand Rugby will recognise Cocksedge's achievement next month during the double header match featuring the Black Ferns and All Blacks against Australia at Eden Park in Auckland. 
    Cocksedge is the second most capped Black Ferns after former Black Ferns captain Fiao'o Faamausili who retired at 57 caps at the end of 2018.


  • The performance was obviously that bad no one wants to talk about the loss to France. 🙂

    Based on the brief highlights I saw on the news Brazier missed 2 tackles leading to 2 tries.

  • @Bovidae I would have watched the game and posted about it, if I hadn't been in hospital. 😔

    Those frenchies again aye? Now a bye, and then the most difficult game, against England. Although, the English women only managed to beat the Canadians by 2 points.

  • England 20 - France 18 (HT: 5-18)
    USA 20 - Canada 18 (HT: 8-18)

    A game of two halves in both games. A strong wind maybe?

  • @Bovidae England unbeaten thus far. It's going to be a tough game for the Black Ferns on Monday morning, I think.

  • The return of Captain Les Elder is among six changes to the Black Ferns side named by Head Coach Glenn Moore to play England in their final Super Series match on Monday morning (8 am NZT).

    The team is (number of caps in brackets):
    1 Toka Natua (19)
    2. Te Kura Ngata-Arerengemate (27)
    3. Aleisha-Pearl Nelson (32)
    4. Eloise Blackwell (Vice captain, 40)
    5. Charmaine Smith (24)
    6. Pia Tapsell (3)
    7. Les Elder (Captain, 15)
    8. Charmaine McMenamin (21)
    9. Kendra Cocksedge (Vice captain, 50)
    10. Ruahei Demant (8)
    11. Ayesha Leti-I'iga (6)
    12. Chelsea Alley (21)
    13. Carla Hohepa (21)
    14. Renee Wickliffe (38)
    15. Kelly Brazier (39)

    16 Luka Connor (2)
    17. Phillipa Love (10)
    18. Leilani Perese (8)
    19. Joanah Ngan-Woo (1)
    20. Marcelle Parkes (4)
    21. Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (3)
    22. Theresa Fitzpatrick (10)
    23. Alena Saili (4)


  • @Bovidae Last test of the Series, and a must-win for both teams. Winner takes the Series. Hopefully the BFs have saved their best game for last!

  • Half time: NZ 15 - 10 England

    Entertaining first half. England started the game well, dominating possession and full on attack. The Black Ferns penalised a couple of times, finally resulting in a (harsh) yellow for our LH prop. England benefited and scored a try, after the teams had first exchanged penalty goals. Gradually, the momentum started to shift and the Black Ferns took the game into their own hand and the game opened up. No love lost between these teams, as they do not only battle for the Series title, but also for the no. 1 spot in the world rankings. Some good tries, including a double from Renee Wickliffe (one was an intercept try), saw the Black Ferns going into the break with the lead.

  • BF under a team warning ..

  • And now the second front rower, our hooker, is going to the bin. England have been milking it all game, and now the BFs have given them what they want.

  • Instead of conceding points with a player in the bin, the BFs gain 3 via an excellent penalty kick from Cocksedge.

    18 - 13 NZ

  • Forgot about this game. A different venue I see.

    From what I've seen NZ needs to go wide as England is strong up front, and defending well (not always legally).

  • Awesome try from Wickliffe after a great break from Fitzpatrick! Hat-trick for Wickliffe, too.

  • 25 - 13 NZ with 14 minutes to play.

  • Our tall timber has been awesome this game, Blackwell, Smith and McMenamin. Tapsell has been the find of the Series. Also like the new left winger, Leti-I'iga. Strong girl.

  • Another great penalty kick from Cocksedge. 28 - 13 NZ

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