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Seven Cantabrians Make Black Ferns
Seven Canterbury players have been named in the Black Ferns squad to play in the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup in August.
Kendra Cocksedge, Halie Hurring, Mel Ngatai, Casey Robertson, Amiria Rule, Melissa Ruscoe and Steph TeOhaere-Fox have been named in the team that includes one new cap in Aucklander Trish Hina. Melissa Ruscoe will captain the squad in her second cup competition.
Canterburycoach Sarah Helmore says that selection for these players is a reward for the hard work that they have put in over the years and their quality performances for both their province and country.
She says however that a number of players, most notably Olivia Coady, Kim Smith and Anika Tiplady, were extremely unlucky not to make the touring squad. “Like all selections it comes down to who the selectors determine are the best in each position, but these three players were certainly unlucky,” Sarah says. They will remain as non-travelling reserves and so therefore are only an injury away from being called up.
The selection of Amiria Rule is a huge achievement in itself as the outstanding player – who has played in the two previous World Cups and was a star of the 2006 competition in Canada – is returning from a serious knee injury that threatened to curtail her involvement.
“She has done everything right and is on track,” Sarah says. “Making it to her third World Cup is a terrific achievement.”
New Zealand has won the cup on three previous occasions – 1998, 2002, 2006 – however the Black Ferns were beaten by England at home late last season.
“We are very pleased with the depth and experience we have been able to select for this squad," coach Brian Evans says. “It was great to be able to have a look at a wider group of players at the trial tournament in Hopuhopu in June and I am confident that we have a strong squad to travel to England.”
The Blacks Ferns will attend a training camp in Auckland this week before leaving for England on 13 August. They play South Africa, Australia and Wales in their pool matches before the semi-finals and final.
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