Black Ferns name new captain for upcoming season

By Te Ao - Māori News

Openside flanker Les Elder was announced as the new captain of the Black Ferns at the official team naming in Auckland last night. The Bay of Plenty player takes over the role from the now retired Fiao’o Faamausili, and will lead the side into a busy test schedule in 2019.

Coach Glenn Moore said Elder was a natural leader who had quickly made an impact on the culture of the squad since her debut in 2015.

“On the field Les is uncompromising, and her knowledge of the game is outstanding. Off the field she has the ability to bring players together and bring out the best in them. She is a clear communicator, setting high standards for herself for others to follow."

As well as a new skipper, the team also contains seven new players: Karli Faneva (Bay of Plenty), Luka Connor (Bay of Plenty), Forne Burkin (Canterbury), Kennedy Simon (Waikato), Harono Te Iringa (Counties Manukau), Grace Brooker (Canterbury) and Pia Tapsell (North Harbour).

Joanah Ngan-Woo (Wellington), Kilisitina Moata-ana (Otago) and Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (Counties Manukau) have all been named in the squad previously, but have not been capped yet.

The Black Ferns will play in the inaugural Women's Rugby Super Series 2019 in San Diego, which commences at the end of next month. Following that, they will play against the Australian Wallaroos as part of two double-header matches alongside the All Blacks and Wallabies in Perth and Auckland in August.

It’s been a big week for the Black Ferns, with former players honoured in a capping ceremony on Saturday night, then the Sevens side winning the latest World Series Event in Canada.


Black Ferns Sevens back to their winning ways in Canada

Capping ceremony honours former Black Ferns

Black Ferns to contest Rugby Super Series

The Black Ferns squad is (Test caps in brackets):


Eloise Blackwell (37)  Auckland

Forne Burkin  Canterbury

Luka Connor  Bay of Plenty

Les Elder (Captain, 13)  Bay of Plenty

Karli Faneva  Bay of Plenty

Aldora Itunu (20)  Auckland

Phillipa Love (7)  Canterbury

Charmaine McMenamin (19)  Auckland

Toka Natua (16)  Waikato

Aleisha-Pearl Nelson (29)  Auckland

Joanah Ngan Woo  Wellington

Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (23)  Counties Manukau

Marcelle Parkes (2)  Wellington

Leilani Perese (5)  Counties Manukau

Kennedy Simon  Waikato

Charmaine Smith (21)  Auckland

Pia Tapsell  North Harbour

Harono Te Iringa  Counties Manukau

Cristo Tofa  Auckland


Chelsea Alley (18)  Waikato

Kelly Brazier (37)  Bay of Plenty

Grace Brooker  Canterbury

Kendra Cocksedge (Co-Vice Captain, 47)  Canterbury

Krysten Cottrell (5)  Hawke's Bay

Kiritapu Demant (2)  Bay of Plenty

Ruahei Demant (5)  Auckland

Theresa Fitzpatrick (9)  Auckland

Carla Hohepa (19)  Waikato

Ayesha Leti-I'iga (3)  Wellington

Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu  Counties Manukau

Kilisitina Moata'ane  Otago

Natahlia Moors (1)  Auckland

Alena Saili (2)  Southland

Renee Wickliffe (35)  Bay of Plenty

Selica Winiata (Co-Vice Captain, 36)  Manawatu