Black Ferns head coach Glenn Moore has named a training squad as preparations for August’s Women’s Rugby World Cup ramp up.
The 51-strong squad will be part of a regional training programme designed to identify and develop the best players in New Zealand.
In 2016 the Black Ferns were unbeaten in both their home series against Australia, and away series against Canada, England and Ireland.
Moore said the Women’s World Cup in Ireland and Northern Ireland was the focus for 2017.
“We’ll be making World Cup selections from this wider training group,” he told the Black Ferns’ official website.
“With an Olympic medal-winning sevens team and a growing provincial tournament there’s a lot of talent out there and the number of women with the black jersey in their sights is on the rise. We want to make sure we take the strongest squad possible to the World Cup.”
The squad features all 2016 Black Ferns and includes Black Ferns Linda Itunu, Justine Lavea, Lesley Ketu and Stacey Waaka who are all returning from injury.
Black Ferns trials will take place in mid-May.
Details of an international home series in June will be announced in the coming weeks.
New Zealand Women’s Rugby World Cup training squad:
Eloise Blackwell, Fiao’o Faamausili, Charlene Gubb, Aldora Itunu, Linda Itunu, Emma Jensen, Charmaine McMenamin, Aleisha Nelson, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Kiritapu Demant, Tyla Nathan-Wong, Luka Connor, Kelly Brazier, Stephanie Te Ohaere-Fox, Kendra Cocksedge, Jessie Hansen, Pip Love, Justine Lavea, Rawinia Everitt, Aotearoa (Katie) Mata’u, Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Aroha Savage, Renee Wickliffe, Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali, Arihana Marino, Sharnita Woodman, Badin-Lee Munro-Smith, Hazel Tubic, Portia Woodman, Kristina Sue, Janna Vaughan, Sarah Goss, Selica Winiata, Rebekah Cordero-Tufuga, Cyrstal Mayes, Becky Wood, Chelsea Alley, Charmaine Smith, Emma Iverson, Angie Sisifa, Greer Muir, Ariana Bayler, Sosoli Talawadua, Toka Natua, Carla Hohepa, Honey Hireme, Lesley Ketu, Stacey Waaka, Jackie Fereti, Joanah Ngan-Woo, Ayesha Leti-Liga