Gago, Paul, Marino-Tauhinu named in Black Ferns side

Gago, Paul, Marino-Tauhinu named in Black Ferns side

Three Counties Manukau Heat players have been named in the first Black Ferns squad of the year with two players set to make their debuts.

Hooker Grace Gago and outside back Mererangi Paul have been included in the Black Ferns 30-strong squad to play Australia in the opening test for the Pacific Four Series and O’Reilly Cup in Brisbane later this month.

Black Ferns Director of Rugby Allan Bunting confirmed Gago, Paul and halfback Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu in the squad to play in Brisbane, Ottawa and back home in Hamilton.

First-five Hazel Tubic is unavailable due to a knee injury.

The four Counties Energy Heat stars were all given central contracts this season – Gago and Paul for the first time.

Marino-Tauhinu has played 12 test matches for the Black Ferns.

Nine debutants have been selected in the squad.

“These players have impressed us across Sky Super Rugby Aupiki, but more importantly have joined our Black Ferns environment and taken the opportunity to put their best foot forward to wear the black jersey,” said Bunting.

“We are excited to see their progression this year.”