Bay of Plenty's Kendra Reynolds, Kelsey Wills and Angel Mulu will make their international rugby debut as part of the Black Ferns Development squad that will face Fiji in their first hit out of the Oceania champs.
The trio are among the 15 of the 23-woman team set to make their international debuts. Fellow Bay of Plenty Volcanix player and contracted Black Ferns hooker Luka Connor, who has some international experience, has been named to gain more field time.
Head coach Wayne Maxwell said the squad had assembled on Wednesday evening ahead of the 2019 Oceania Rugby Women's Championship, which starts today, and had quickly come together as a unit.
"This is an exciting bunch of talented young players who have had stood out in the Farah Palmer Cup this season. This is their opportunity to take the next step in their playing career," Maxwell says.
"The players have connected really well as a team and we can't wait to get out there on Monday."
It is the first time a Black Ferns Development XV side has taken part in the Oceania competition, which includes Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Australia A. Since the Black Ferns and Australia have already qualified for 2021 Rugby World Cup, the sides will play in pool matches only.
Black Ferns Development team:
Leilani Perese (Counties Manukau), Luka Connor (Bay of Plenty), Amy Rule (Canterbury), Kelsie Wills (Bay of Plenty), Joanah Ngan-Woo (Wellington), Alana Bremner (Canterbury), Kendra Reynolds (Bay of Plenty), Joanna Fanene (Auckland), Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (Captain) (Counties Manukau), Hazel Tubic (Counties Manukau), Martha Lolohea (Canterbury), Lauren Balsillie (Manawatu), Grace Brooker (Canterbury), Natahlia Moors (Auckland), Olivia McGoverne (Canterbury), Saphire Abraham (Auckland), Eilis Doyle (Otago), Angel Mulu (Bay of Plenty), Chelsea Bremner (Canterbury), Pia Tapsell (North Harbour), Melanie Puckett (Canterbury), Rosie Kelly (Otago), Amanda Rasch (Wellington).
2019 Oceania Rugby Women's Rugby Championship:
Monday, November 18
11am Samoa v Papua New Guinea.
1.30pm Australia A v Tonga.
4pm Black Ferns v Fiji.
Thursday, November 21:
11am Tonga v Papua New Guinea.
1.30pm Black Ferns v Australia A.
4pm Samoa v Fiji.
Tuesday, November 26
11am Black Ferns v Papua New Guinea.