Black Ferns squad named for tour to England     01 Nov 2012    

Black Ferns Coach Brian Evans has named his squad to travel to England for a three-match tour this month.

In selecting his squad Evans said they had selected a good mix of experience and youthful talent. He has named five new caps in his squad of 26 for the tour which will again include playing their finale Test match at Twickenham after the All Blacks v England Test on 1 December.

"We are very excited about the prospect of playing England again. We know they are always a formidable opposition especially at home.

"While we have a few players who are new to the Black Ferns environment, we are very pleased that the Women's Provincial Competition and the Sevens programme have provided good platforms for preparation.

"I think we have a particularly strong forward pack with some very good ball runners. We are again lucky to have some exciting backs.

"Exposure to the style of lively and strong rugby that we know England will bring, will be a challenge, but one I know the women are up for. This is a good chance to test our depth as we also look ahead to next year's tour when England travel here," he said.

2011 Black Ferns and World Cup winning captain Victoria Grant was not available for selection due to injury.

Auckland police officer and 2011 New Zealand Rugby Woman Player of the Year Fiao'o Fa'amausili steps into the captaincy role for the tour. Last year Fa'amausili collected several sports awards including Police Association Sportsperson of the Year and the Samoan Senior Sports Women of the year.

The Black Ferns squad for 2012 is:

Stephanie TeOhaere-Fox Canterbury
Ruth McKay Manawatu
Kathleen Wilton Otago
Aleisha Nelson * Auckland
Fiao'o Fa’amausili Auckland
Karina Stowers Auckland
Eloise Blackwell Auckland
Jackie Patea * Wellington
Charlene Halapua * Auckland
Rawinia Everitt Auckland
Lydia Crossman Auckland
Justine Lavea Auckland
Aroha Savage Auckland
Casey Robertson Canterbury

Zoey Berry * Canterbury
Emma Jensen Auckland
Kendra Cocksedge Canterbury
Victoria Nafatali * Otago
Kelly Brazier Otago
Teresa Te Tamaki Waikato
Claire Richardson Otago
Shakira Baker Manawatu
Halie Hurring Otago
Anika Tiplady Otago
Selica Winiata Manawatu
Hazel Tubic Auckland

International duties for NZ Referees:
Two of this year's Women's Provincial Championship referees have earned international duties with the whistle. New Zealand's most experienced woman referee Nicky Inwood (Canterbury) and new talent Brigitte Tyler (Wellington) will be on the international stage after they were named on the 2012/2013 IRB Women's Referee panels for fifteens and sevens international matches respectively.

Black Ferns Test Schedule (NZ Times)

Black Ferns v England, Esher RFC, 24 November, 8:30am
Black Ferns v England, Army Rugby Stadium, Aldershot, Wednesday 8:30am
Black Ferns v England, Twickenham, 2 December, Sunday 6:00am