Bay of Plenty is well represented in the 30-strong squad that will travel to San Diego to compete in the 2019 Women's Rugby Super Series.
Head Coach Glenn Moore named his touring squad today , including five Bay of Plenty players captain Les Elder, Luka Connor, Karli Faneva, Kelly Brazier and Renee Wickliffe.
The Women's Rugby Super Series will start on June 29 with the Black Ferns facing off with Canada, before taking on USA, France and England in July.
Moore said North Harbour prop Olivia Ward-Duin has been called in for the series as injury cover for 20-Test cap Aldora Itunu who was recovering from a knee injury.
"Olivia has been part of our wider Black Ferns training squad for the past couple of years so she's familiar with the high performance environment. This is her opportunity to work hard, learn from those around her, and take her game to the next level," Moore said.
"We wish Aldora well in her recovery and are hopeful she can be considered for the Laurie O'Reilly Memorial Trophy matches in August."
Moore described the squad as a mix, saying Ward-Duin wouldn't be alone in the rookie category with six new caps and also Joanah Ngan-Woo (Wellington) and Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (Counties Manukau) who have been named in previous squads but are yet to make their debut.
"This is a very exciting squad – a real mix of experienced players and younger players ready to make their mark.
"We will be facing four of the top teams in the world in USA, Canada, France and England – it's going to be fantastic festival of rugby," he said.
The squad assembles in Auckland tomorrow evening before travelling on Saturday evening.
Travelling Black Ferns squad:
Hookers: Forne Burkin, Canterbury; Luka Connor, Bay of Plenty, Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Counties Manukau.
Props: Phillipa Love, Canterbury; Toka Natua, Waikato; Aleisha-Pearl Nelson, Auckland; Leilani Perese, Counties Manukau; Olivia Ward-Duin, North Harbour.
Locks: Eloise Blackwell, Auckland; Karli Faneva, Bay of Plenty; Joanah Ngan-Woo, Wellington; Charmaine Smith, Auckland.
Loose Forwards: Les Elder (Captain), Bay of Plenty; Charmaine McMenamin, Auckland; Marcelle Parkes, Wellington; Kennedy Simon, Waikato; Pia Tapsell,North Harbour.
Halfbacks: Kendra Cocksedge (Co-vice captain), Canterbury; Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, Counties Manukau.
Midfield: Chelsea Alley, Waikato; Kelly Brazier, Bay of Plenty; Krysten Cottrell, Hawke's Bay; Ruahei Demant, Auckland; Theresa Fitzpatrick, Auckland.
Outside Backs: Carla Hohepa, Waikato; Ayesha Leti-I'iga, Wellington;
Natahlia Moors, Auckland; Alena Saili, Southland; Renee Wickliffe, Bay of Plenty; Selica Winiata (Co-vice captain), Manawatu.
Women's Rugby Super Series 2019 in San Diego, USA:
Black Ferns v Canada, June 29.
Black Ferns v USA, July 3.
Black Ferns v France, July 7.
Black Ferns v England, July 15.