A strong Northland contingent is in the Black Ferns squad to take on the Australian Wallaroos in Auckland tomorrow.

Black Ferns head coach Glenn Moore has named an unchanged team to the one that beat Australia 31-11 in Sydney, with newly capped tighthead prop Leilani Perese, from Whangārei, bracketed with the experienced Aldora Itunu for tomorrow's return Laurie O'Reilly Memorial Trophy test match.

Along with Perese, prop Aleisha Nelson and lock Charmaine Smith grew up in the region, while hooker Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate is teaching in Kaitaia and No 8 Aroha Savage lives in the Far North.

Northland five-eighth Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali was not selected in the squad due to injury, while Kaikohe's Portia Woodman was rested.


Perese said there were others in the wider training squad with ties to the region too.

Moore said Itunu had progressed well this week after sustaining a minor injury in Sydney and is expected to retain the propping duties.

Moore has placed his faith in a side that contained five players making their test debuts in Sydney, including newcomers Ruahei Demant who will retain director duties at first-five-eighth, and Southland's Alena Saili who will once again, camp out on the left wing.

He said while the new-look team had stepped up and taken on the big occasion of the first test of 2018, there were areas for improvement.

"We've obviously spent the week reviewing our performance and identifying where we need to fine tune.''

The Black Ferns squad: (test caps in brackets)
1. Phillipa Love (3)
2. Fiao'o Faamausili (53, Captain)
3. Aldora Itunu (16) / Leilani Perese (1)
4. Eloise Blackwell (33)
5. Charmaine Smith (17)
6. Charmaine McMenamin (15)
7. Les Elder (10)
8. Aroha Savage (29)
9. Kendra Cocksedge (43, Vice Captain)
10. Ruahei Demant (1)
11. Alena Saili (1)
12. Theresa Fitzpatrick (8)
13. Stacey Waaka (12)
14. Renee Wickliffe (31)
15. Selica Winiata (32, Vice Captain)
16. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (21)
17. Cristo Tofa (1)
18. Leilani Perese (1) / Aleisha Nelson (26)
19. Jackie Patea-Fereti (13)
20. Linda Itunu (36)
21. Kristina Sue (11) 22. Krysten Cottrell (1)
23. Chelsea Alley (16)