Black Ferns forced to tweak Pacific Four squad

Picture: FILE

The Black Ferns have been forced to make three changes to their squad for next month’s Pacific Four Series against Australia, the US and Canada.

New Zealand Rugby confirmed on Thursday first five-eighth Patricia Maliepo had been ruled out with concussion, while outside back Grace Steinmetz and veteran utility back Carla Hohepa had foot injuries.

Renee Wickliffe, Hazel Tubic and potential debutant Kelsey Teneti came in as the replacements.

Wickliffe and Tubic were no strangers to the black jersey, both being World Cup winners, and earlier this year were members of the Chiefs Manawa team that won the inaugural Super Rugby Aupiki competition.

Contracted to the Black Ferns Sevens and member of the Waikato Farah Palmer Cup team, 19-year-old Teneti is the eighth uncapped player to be included into the Black Ferns squad.

Teneti will be joined by fellow teenager, Sylvia Brunt, who had been called in as a travelling reserve to complete the 32-player squad.

The 18-year-old Aucklander had shown promise in the Farah Palmer Cup and at Black Ferns camps.

New Zealand opened their Pacific Four series campaign against Australia in Christchurch on August 20.

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