Black Ferns 2020 Test matches announced

BF Release
  • Double-headers in Dunedin, Melbourne and Wellington
  • Eight Test matches including seven on home soil
  • Five new players in 31-strong contracted squad
  • Build up for Rugby World Cup 2021 begins


The Black Ferns will play eight Test matches in 2020 – including seven at home - giving fans around New Zealand more opportunities than ever to cheer on the women in black.


On 18 July, Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium will host Black Ferns V USA, in a double-header match that includes the All Blacks playing Scotland.


In August the O’Reilly Cup (formerly the Laurie O’Reilly Memorial Trophy) Tests will see the Black Ferns play Australia at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne (8 August), and at Sky Stadium in Wellington (15 August,). Both Trans-Tasman Tests will be double-header events including the All Blacks contesting the Bledisloe Cup.


Confirmation of the further five Black Ferns Test matches including venues, locations and kick-off times will be announced in coming weeks.



Preparation for Rugby World Cup 2021 begins


New Zealand Rugby’s Head of Women’s Rugby, Cate Sexton said the eight-match Test schedule was unprecedented for Black Ferns fans in New Zealand, and gave them a taste of what to expect in 2021.


“This is an extra special year for local fans because in the past most Black Ferns Test matches have been played overseas.


“We’ve seen a massive groundswell of support for the team from around New Zealand in recent times, and this year fans have more opportunities than ever before to cheer on the Black Ferns in person."


Sexton said while agreements for the other five Test matches were still being finalised they would be standalone matches at venues around the country.


2020 Black Ferns contracted squad named


Five new players were included in the 2020 Black Ferns contracted squad and Counties Manukau fullback Hazel Tubic returns after a stint playing in Japan. Tubic last wore the black jersey during the 2017 Rugby World Cup in Ireland.



The 2020 Black Ferns contracted squad is (* Denotes first-time contracts):



Saphire Abraham* Auckland
Eloise Blackwell Auckland
Charmaine McMenamin Auckland
Charmaine Smith Auckland
Aleisha-Pearl Nelson Auckland
Luka Connor Bay of Plenty
Kelsie Wills* Bay of Plenty
Chelsea Bremner* Canterbury
Phillipa Love Canterbury
Leilani Perese Counties Manukau
Pia Tapsell North Harbour
Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate Northland
Toka Natua Waikato
Kennedy Simon Waikato
Marcelle Parkes Wellington
Jackie Patea-Fereti Wellington




Ruahei Demant Auckland
Patricia Maliepo* Auckland
Natahlia Moors Auckland
Renee Wickliffe Bay of Plenty
Grace Brooker Canterbury
Kendra Cocksedge Canterbury
Hazel Tubic Counties Manukau
Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu Counties Manukau              
Langi Veainu* Counties Manukau
Selica Winiata Manawatu
Kilisitina Moata'ane Otago
Chelsea Alley Waikato
Carla Hohepa Waikato
Ayesha Leti-I'iga Welington
Monica Tagoai Wellington


Black Ferns Head Coach Glenn Moore said he and his selectors had assembled the top talent from around New Zealand to build depth in the squad ahead of 2021.


“Every year the standard of rugby, not just here, but around the world, is growing and we need to be ahead of the game.


“In the past couple of years we’ve widened our player pool, introduced new athletes to the Black Ferns environment, and given them Test match exposure. In 2021 we will be able to draw on a stronger, experienced and match-fit group of players.”


The contracted squad includes five new athletes who stood out during the 2019 Farah Palmer Cup; Saphire Abraham and Patricia Maliepo (Auckland), Langi Veainu (Counties Manukau), Kelsie Wills (Bay of Plenty) and Chelsea Bremner (Canterbury).


Moore said the newly contracted players were all young and talented and had impressed with their work ethic and skill.

With 18 months until Rugby World Cup 2021 the competition for black jersey selection was ramping up.


“This is a crunch year for us. We need constant high-level competition to ensure the team is in top form for next year. An eight-Test match schedule, more regular training camps, and the added bonus of playing in front of family and friends is massive motivation for everyone. It’s shaping up to be a big year for everyone involved in the Black Ferns.”

The first Black Ferns Test squad for 2020 will be named closer to the first matches.


2020 Black Ferns Test schedule (all kick-off times in NZT)


Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Saturday, 18 July
V USA (Including All Blacks v Scotland)
Kick-off: 4.30pm (NZT)


O’Reilly Cup

Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
Saturday, 8 August
V Australia (Including All Blacks v Australia)
Kick-off: 6.50pm (NZT)


Sky Stadium, Wellington
Saturday, 15 August
V Australia (Including All Blacks v Australia)
Kick-off: 4.30pm (NZT)



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