Rugby: Black Ferns without skipper for England tour

Black Ferns Coach Brian Evans has named his 26-strong squad to travel to England for a three-match tour this month and the side will have a new captain as Victoria Grant has been ruled out with injury.

Auckland police officer and 2011 New Zealand Rugby women's player of the year Fiao'o Fa'amausili steps into the captaincy role for the tour.

In selecting his squad, Evans said they had selected a good mix of experience and youthful talent.

He has named five new caps in his squad for the tour which will again include playing their finale test match at Twickenham after the All Blacks versus England test on December 1.

"We are very excited about the prospect of playing England again. We know they are always a formidable opposition especially at home.

"While we have a few players who are new to the Black Ferns environment, we are very pleased that the women's provincial competition and the sevens programme have provided good platforms for preparation.

"I think we have a particularly strong forward pack with some very good ball runners. We are again lucky to have some exciting backs.

"Exposure to the style of lively and strong rugby that we know England will bring, will be a challenge, but one I know the women are up for. This is a good chance to test our depth as we also look ahead to next year's tour when England travel here," he said.

Black Ferns: Forwards: Stephanie TeOhaere-Fox, Ruth McKay, Kathleen Wilton, Aleisha Nelson, Fiao'o Fa'amausili, Karina Stowers, Eloise Blackwell, Jackie Patea, Charlene Halapua, Rawinia Everitt, Lydia Crossman, Justine Lavea, Aroha Savage, Casey Robertson, Backs: Zoey Berry, Emma Jensen, Kendra Cocksedge, Victoria Nafatali, Kelly Brazier, Teresa Te Tamaki, Claire Richardson, Shakira Baker, Halie Hurring, Anika Tiplady, Selica Winiata, Hazel Tubic

Black Ferns Test Schedule - NZ and UK Times

Versus England, Esher RFC, Saturday NZT, November 24, 8:30am (UKT November 23, 7.30pm)

Versus England, Army Rugby Stadium, Aldershot, Wednesday NZT, November 28, 8:30am, (UKT Nov 27, 7:30pm)

Versus England, Twickenham, Sunday NZT, December 2, 6:00am (UKT December 1, 5:00pm)

- APNZ

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