Wallaroos coach Jay Tregonning has handed Trilleen Pomare the playmaking keys as Australia look to make amends for a shock loss to Japan against New Zealand on Monday (12.30pm AEST on Stan Sport).
Force star Pomare will start at No.10 after coming off the bench behind NSW’s Arabella McKenzie in last month’s Tests against Fiji and Japan.
The Wallaroos beat Fiji 36-19 in Brisbane before slumping to a 12-10 defeat against the Brave Blossoms on the Gold Coast.
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The clash with the Black Ferns in Tauranga will be preceded with a meeting between Canada and the United States as teams finetune their plans for the October-November Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Tregonning also named uncapped Queenslanders Annabelle Codey and Cecilia Smith on the bench.
“The team has just come off a really valuable week back on the Gold Coast and we are excited to be in New Zealand ahead of the competition,” Tregonning said.
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“Playing New Zealand in the first game of the Pacific Four really feels like a prelude for what is to come in the first match of the pool games at the Rugby World Cup.
“While the Black Ferns are formidable opponents this match will be perfect for our preparations before we travel back to New Zealand in October.”
The Test will be Kiwi coaching great Wayne Smith’s first time in charge of the once dominating Black Ferns following a tumultuous tour of the northern hemisphere which cost Glenn Moore his job.
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Halfback Kendra Cocksedge will become the most capped player in Black Ferns history when she takes the field for the 58th time.
“It’s going to a very exciting day for me and my family especially bringing up this milestone on home turf,” Cocksedge said.
“We’ve had an awesome week building up to the Test and can’t wait to get out there on Monday.”
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Smith has named seven debutants in his 23 including Olympic sevens gold medalist Ruby Tui on the right wing and the Bremner sisters, Chelsea and Alana, in the pack.
“We’re really impressed with some of our younger players, they’re in good condition and deserve a crack,” Smith said.
“I’ve always seen selection as an easy process, the players select themselves – we just have to write the names down.
“It’s exciting having these Tests in our own country and that brings with it some pressure. I want this series to be exhilarating for the country and the players, we’ve got a game that can do that – we just have to put it out on the field.”
The Wallaroos are yet to beat the Black Ferns in 19 attempts.
WALLAROOS (15-1): Lori Cramer, Mahalia Murphy, Georgina Friedrichs, Pauline Piliae-Rasabale, Ivania Wong, Trilleen Pomare, Iliseva Batibasaga, Grace Hamilton, Shannon Parry (c), Emily Chancellor, Kaitlan Leaney, Michaela Leonard, Bridie O’Gorman, Adiana Talakai, Liz patu
Reservations: Ashley Marsters, Madison Schuck, Asoiva Karpani, Annabelle Codey, Piper Duck, Layne Morgan, Cecilia Smith, Arabella McKenzie
BLACK FERNS (15-1): Renee Holmes, Ruby Tui, Kelsey Teneti, Chelsea Semple, Ayesha Leti-I’iga, Ruahei Demant (c), Kendra Cocksedge; Kaipo Olsen-Baker, Kendra Reynolds, Alana Bremner, Chelsea Bremner, Maiakawanakaulani Roos, Amy Rule, Georgia Ponsonby, Krystal Murray
Reservations: Luka Connor, Angel Mulu, Tanya Kalounivale, Joanah Ngan-Woo, Tafito Lafaele, Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, Hazel Tubic, Cheyelle Robins-Reti
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