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PREVIEW: Black Ferns vs Canada

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allblacks.com     28 Jun 2019     Getty Images


MATCH DETAILS: Black Ferns vs Canada, 11am Saturday 29 June NZT, Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Centre, San Diego.

SUPER SERIES LOWDOWN

The Women’s Rugby Super Series brings together the world’s top five teams for a round-robin tournament across five competition dates in the greater San Diego area. It’s the first time in three years that the event has taken place and its increased from four teams to five. Two games will be played per day and the tournament will take place at two venues. The opening few games will be at the Elite Athlete Training Centre, which is the home of the USA men and women’s Sevens teams. The final round will be at Torero Stadium. 

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DASHING DEBUTANT
After turning heads for North Harbour in the Farah Palmer Cup last year with her dynamic ball-running, No.8 Pia Tapsell has been named to make her Test debut against Canada. The highly-skilled 20-year-old topped the try-scoring chart for North Harbour last year and will be one to watch with ball in hand says coach Glenn Moore. “She’s a very physical player and a good ball carrier. She came through strongly in the Barbarians match and deserves her start,” says Moore.
RETURNING STARS
Waikato duo Carla Hohepa and Toka Natua return to the Black Ferns for the first time since the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup final. Centre Hohepa is returning to the game after having a baby while Natua took time out of the game after starring in the 2017 World Cup. Coach Glenn Moore said the pair add plenty of experience and proven talent to the side. “"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,” Moore said.

ONE TO WATCH
The Black Ferns will need to keep a close eye on Canadian mid-fielder Sara Kaljuvee. The diminutive 26-year-old has proven to be a game-breaker on the sevens circuit and has all the attributes to grow into a world class fifteens player. With strong ball-running, great stepping ability, superb ball skills and strong defence, Kalujuvee will be one of Canada’s key weapons at the Women’s Super Series.

FAST FACT
The Black Ferns and Canada have met 14 times with the Black Ferns winning on each occasion.

WATCH
If you are in New Zealand, tune into SKY Sport for live coverage of all matches (see schedule below). Fans outside of New Zealand can watch all matches through Flo Sports.

TEAMS
Black Ferns:

1. Toka Natua 2. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate 3. Aleisha-Pearl Nelson 4. Eloise Blackwell 5. Charmaine Smith 6. Charmaine McMenamin 7. Les Elder (Captain, 13) 8. Pia Tapsell* 9. Kendra Cocksedge (Vice captain) 10. Ruahei Demant 11. Ayesha Leti-I'iga 12. Chelsea Alley 13. Carla Hohepa 14. Renee Wickliffe 15. Selica Winiata (Vice captain)
Reserves: 16. Luka Connor* 17. Phillipa Love 18. Leilani Perese / Olivia Ward-Duin* 19. Karli Faneva* 20. Marcelle Parkes 21. Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu* 22. Krysten Cottrell 23. Alena Saili

Canada:
1: Olivia DeMerchant, 2: Laura Russell (capt), 3: DaLeaka Menin, 4: Courtney Holtkamp, 5: Sophie De Goede, 6: Fabiola Forteza, 7: Janna Slevinky, 8: Gabrielle Senft, 9: Brianna Miller, 10: Alex Tessier, 11: Elissa Alarie, 12: Sara Kaljuvee, 13: Anais Holly, 14: Paige Farries, 15: Irene Patrinos
Reserves: Gillian Boag, Maude Laliberte, Veronica Harrigan, Jacey Grusnick, Abenakis de Sherbrooke, Sara Svoboda, Lori Josepheon, Alysha Corrigan

BLACK FERNS SCHEDULE
Black Ferns v Canada – Sat 29 June – 11am NZT, Sky Sport 1
Black Ferns v USA – Wed 3 July – 12.15pm NZT, Sky Sport 1
Black Ferns v France – Sun 7 July – 9.15am NZT, Sky Sport 1
Black Ferns v England – Mon 15 July – 8am NZT, Sky Sport 1

OTHER MATCHES
England v USA Sat 29 Jun – 7.50am Sky Sport Pop Up 1
France v Canada Wed 3 Jul – 9.05am Sky Sport 1
Canada v England Sun 7 Jul – 12.05pm Sky Sport 1
England v France Thu 11 Jul – 9.05am Sky Sport 1
Canada v USA Thu 11 Jul – 12.05pm Sky Sport 1
France v USA Mon 15 Jul – 10.50am Sky Sport 1