Black Ferns name experienced World Cup squad

(IRB.COM) Tuesday 29 June 2010
 Black Ferns name experienced World Cup squad
Amiria Rule was a key player for the Black Ferns at WRWC 2006

Black Ferns coach Brian Evans has named a squad brimming with experience for Women's Rugby World Cup 2010 in England, when New Zealand will be seeking a fourth successive title.

Monalisa Codling is the only member of the squad to have played in all three of those triumphs dating back to Amsterdam in 1998, but five others will be seeking their own hat-trick of titles at the 2010 event in Guildford from 20 August to 5 September.

One of this quintet is Amiria Rule, one of the stars of the 2006 tournament in Canada who suffered a serious knee injury earlier in the year but has recovered well to join Fiao'o Faamausili, Victoria Heighway, Emma Jensen and Casey Robertson for her third WRWC.

Melissa Ruscoe returns to lead the Black Ferns, having missed their tour to England last November through injury - when the world champions suffered a first loss to their hosts since 2001 - is one of a number of players set for a second World Cup appearance.

Evans and his assistant Grant Hansen have named only one uncapped player in their 26-strong squad in Auckland centre Trish Hina, who will become a dual international having already represented New Zealand in rugby league.

"We are very pleased with the depth and experience we have been able to select for this squad," admitted Evans, who will assemble the squad for a training camp in Auckland from 12-16 July before they depart for England on 13 August.

"It was great to be able to have a look at a wider group of players at the trial tournament in Hopuhopu earlier in the month and I am confident that we have a strong squad to travel to England."

New Zealand will kick off their quest for a fourth successive World Cup title against a vastly improve South Africa, who have won all four of their tests in 2010 against Kazakhstan and Scotland away, at Surrey Sports Park on 20 August.

They then face RWC Sevens champions Australia four days later before ending their Pool A campaign against Wales at the same venue on 28 August with only the top side in each pool guaranteed a place in the semi finals, along with the best runner up.

New Zealand squad: Kelly Brazier (Otago), Kendra Cocksedge (Canterbury), ^Monalisa Codling (Auckland), #Fiao'o Faamausili (Auckland), *Victoria Grant (nee Blackledge) (Auckland), #Victoria Heighway (Auckland), Trish Hina (Auckland), Carla Hohepa (Otago), *Rebecca Hull (nee Mahoney) (Wellington), Halie Hurring (Canterbury), *Linda Itunu (Auckland), #Emma Jensen (Auckland), Justine Lavea (Auckland), *Huriana Manuel (Auckland), Ruth McKay (Manawatu), Mel Ngatai (Canterbury), Karina Penetito (Auckland), # Casey Robertson (Canterbury), Vita Robinson (Auckland),
#Amiria Rule (nee Marsh) (Canterbury), *Melissa Ruscoe (Captain, Canterbury), Aroha Savage (Auckland), Joan Sione (Auckland), Doris Taufateau (Auckland), Steph TeOhaere-Fox (Canterbury), Renee Wickliffe (Auckland).

^ denotes fourth Women's Rugby World Cup (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010)
# denotes third Women's Rugby World Cup (2002, 2006, 2010)
* denotes second Women's Rugby World Cup (2006, 2010)