Heat players named in Black Ferns, Black Ferns XV

Heat players named in Black Ferns, Black Ferns XV

Three Counties Energy Heat players have been named in the Black Ferns squad for the end-of-season test matches with Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, Ruby Tui and Mererangi Paul selected.

Marino-Tauhinu and Paul played in the Black Ferns tests earlier in the season while Tui returns to the squad after her sabbatical and on the back of strong form with the Heat.

Hooker Grace Gago and first-five Hazel Tubic are unlucky omissions with Gago named in the Black Ferns XV squad.

The Black Ferns will play their first game on home soil for the 2023 season, when they take on the Wallaroos at FMG Stadium, Waikato. The O’Reilly Cup will be the Black Ferns’ final fixture before embarking on the inaugural WXV1 tournament.

“We are looking forward to the upcoming months,” coach Allan Bunting said. “To have the opportunity for our whānau and fans to see the team in action is special. We are excited about the challenge that lies ahead, the importance of building our foundations for the future and to have that here in Aotearoa will be precious for us. The way the country got behind our Black Ferns last year, and again have done so with the Football Ferns this year, it is special. And we are looking forward to seeing that support again.”