Black Ferns name two debutants for NZ Barbarians clash

Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore has named two debutants in the side to take on the New Zealand Barbarians on Saturday in Nelson.

Grace Steinmetz. Source: Photosport

Winger Grace Steinmetz and fullback Renee Holmes will pull on the black jersey for the first time.

Both players only turned to rugby three years ago, with backgrounds in other sports.

Renee Holmes (left). Source: Photosport

Holmes last year was part of the Black Ferns Sevens development squad after catching the eyes of selectors at Red Bull Ignite7.

Steinmetz was also selected for the Black Ferns Sevens training squad last year and was part of Canterbury's fourth Farah Palmer Cup title win last month.

"Both Grace and Renee are familiar with high performance environments which has made their transition into the Black Ferns easier", Moore said.

“Grace has a high work rate and the ability to create opportunities on the field due to her elusive speed. We expect her to make a big impact on Saturday.

“Renee has impressed us during this year’s Farah Palmer Cup. Recently she switched to fullback after having played at both halfback and first five. It’s given her a sound understanding of the game and she's a confident decision maker.”

Former New Zealand Volleyballer Kelsie Wills will look to earn her first appearance from the bench.

The Black Ferns squad:

1. Phillipa Love (11)
2. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (31)
3. Aleisha-Pearl Nelson (35)
4. Eloise Blackwell (Captain, 43)
5. Chelsea Bremner
6. Pia Tapsell (6)
7. Kennedy Simon (4)
8. Charmaine McMenamin (25)
9. Kendra Cocksedge (Vice Captain, 53)
10. Ruahei Demant (11)
11. Langi Veainu
12. Chelsea Alley (24)
13. Amy du Plessis
14. Grace Steinmetz
15. Renee Holmes


16. Luka Connor (4)
17. Toka Natua (22)
18. Aldora Itunu (20)/Tanya Kalounivale
19. Kelsie Wills
20. Aroha Savage (33)
21. Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (6)
22. Hazel Tubic (11)
23. Natahlia Moors (2)/Selica Winiata (40)