Faamausili named for record 50th Test

Getty Images     16 Aug 2017     Getty Images

Black Ferns Head Coach Glenn Moore has named his team for the match against Canada today.

Among the squad are Faamausili set to reach a record 50 caps, Kendra Cocksedge set to reach 40 caps and Eloise Blackwell 30 caps.
The team is (number of caps in brackets):

1. Toka Natua (13)
2. Fiao'o Faamausili - captain (49)
3. Aldora Itunu (12) 
4. Eloise Blackwell (29)
5. Charmaine Smith (13)
6. Charmaine McMenamin (11)
7. Sarah Goss (7)
8. Aroha Savage (25)
9. Kendra Cocksedge (39)
10. Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali (16)
11. Renee Wickliffe (27)
12. Kelly Brazier (34)
13. Stacey Waaka (8)
14. Portia Woodman (13)
15. Selica Winiata (28)

16. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (17)
17. Sosoli Talawadua (5)
18. Aotearoa Mata'u (7)
19. Rebecca Wood (4)
20. Linda Itunu (33)
21. Kristina Sue (8)
22. Theresa Fitzpatrick (4)  
23. Carla Hohepa (16)

Moore said it would be a crucial match for the Black Ferns with places in the semifinals on the line.

“Whoever wins this game, probably wins the pool. We need to win it and ultimately, we’d like to win it with a bonus point.”

He said he’d been happy with their 121 - nil win over Hong Kong which saw 19 tries scored – eight by winger Portia Woodman.

“The Hong Kong match was critical for us to score a good tally of points and have none scored against us. It will stand us in good stead if points differentials need to be calculated.

“Everyone is very buoyant and excited. This will be a very memorable day for Fiao’o, reaching a 50th cap while at a World Cup is extremely special.”

Moore said that true to Faamausili’s character, she was determined to focus on the task at hand, rather than her individual achievement.

“It’s a real testament to Fiao’o’s leadership. As captain she puts the team before everything. It will be a very proud day for the entire Black Ferns family and for rugby.”

A first for the Black Ferns:

Police Detective Fiao’o Faamausili was first selected for the Black Ferns in 2002 and has been named consistently (aside from 2004 when she was living in Australia) since.

Regarded as the one of the most formidable hookers in women’s world rugby, she is playing in her fifth Women’s Rugby World Cup tournament. She has captained the Black Ferns since 2012.

New Zealand Rugby Chair Brent Impey has congratulated Faamausili on achieving the 50-Test milestone.

“Fiao’o has made an enormous contribution not only to the Black Ferns but also to the wider rugby community. She has played almost 100 matches for her beloved Auckland Storm and by nature is a fantastic role model for young players in her community.”

Impey said he had recently been in camp with the Black Ferns during their World Cup campaign in Ireland where he had experienced first-hand Faamausili’s leadership and witnessed her on-field skills.

“There is no team that works harder than the Black Ferns and Fiao’o drives that level of dedication and professionalism. She leads by example, and as a result the women around her lift their own performances.

“On the field she is fearless, and is constantly striving to further extend her level of play. I wish her and her team all the best for the remainder of the Women’s Rugby World Cup and look forward to seeing Fiao’o in action.

“New Zealand Rugby will be recognising her achievement in the appropriate way later in the year,” he said.

Earlier today New Zealand Rugby announced a new annual award - the Fiao’o Fa’amausili Medal for the player of the year in the Farah Palmer Cup.

2017 Women's Rugby World Cup, pool stages in Dublin (NZT)

Thursday, 10 August
RESULT: Black Ferns 44-12 Wales

Sunday, 13 August 11pm
RESULT: Black Ferns 121-0 Hong Kong

Thursday, 17 August 11pm
Black Ferns v Canada

The 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup will be broadcast on SKY TV. All Black Ferns matches will be screened live on SKY SPORT 1.