Gibbs changes up NZ Barbarians side to face Black Ferns in Nelson


The team is:


1. Krystal Murray (Northland)
2. Rebecca Todd (Canterbury)
3. Amy Rule (Canterbury)
4. Joanah Ngan-Woo (Wellington)
5. Maiakawanakaulani (Maia) Roos (Auckland)
6. Alana Bremner (Captain, Canterbury)
7. Marcelle Parkes (Wellington)
8. Cindy Nelles (Canterbury)
9. Ariana Bayler (Waikato)
10. Patricia Maliepo (Auckland)
11. Crystal Mayes (Manawatu)
12. Kilisitina Moata’ane (Otago)
13. Janna Vaughan (Manawatu)
14. Lyric Faleafaga (Wellington)
15. Carys Dallinger (Manawatu)

16. Saphire Abraham (Auckland)
17. Jay Jay Taylor (North Harbour)/Grace Houpapa-Barrett (Waikato)
18. Olivia Ward-Duin (North Harbour)
19. Kaipo Olsen-Baker (Manawatu)
20. Morgan Henderson (Otago)
21. Iritana Hohaia (Taranaki)
22. Shyanne Thompson (Counties Manukau)
23. Rosie Kelly (Otago)


After both being named on the bench last weekend, hooker Rebecca Todd (Canterbury) and lock Maiakawanakaulani Roos (Auckland) are promoted to the starting pack along with Canadian international Cindy Nelles (Canterbury) who replaces Kaipo Olsen-Baker (Manawatu) at No.8.



In the backs, Gibbs has swapped his first five and fullback with Auckland’s Patricia Maleipo moving to 10 and Manawatu’s Carys Dallinger shifing back to fullback.


Injuries have forced a reshuffle in the back line where Crystal Mayes (Manawatu) has been called into the side on the left wing for Martha Lolohea (Canterbury), while Manawatu’s Janna Vaughan starts at centre replacing Monica Tagoai (Wellington).


Utility back Shyanne Thompson (Counties Manukau) has also come in as injury cover and is on the bench.


Gibbs said his side took plenty of lessons from their 34-15 defeat against the Black Ferns last week at Waitakere and had worked extra hard since arriving in Nelson.


“We lost a couple of our more experienced players this week due to injury so we’ve needed to rebuild and make changes. The players have risen to our challenges and shown a lot of resilience which has been really impressive.


“Patricia will start in the pivotal number 10 jersey. She was a player to watch in the Farah Palmer Cup and now has this opportunity to build on her performances.


“With Janna able to cover centre, and Carys moving to fullback, we believe we have the right combination to really challenge the Black Ferns.”


Gibbs said newcomer Mayes had fitted quickly into the team and would provide extra speed out wide.


“In the forwards Rebecca and Maia have their chance to start and Cindy’s versatility means she will cover No.8 well.”


Gibbs said he and his coaching team were pleased with the team’s performance in Auckland but knew they had even more potential.


“Our intent was to push the Black Ferns as hard as we could and put solid points on the board, and we achieved that. This is a very young team and we will come out even stronger this weekend.”



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