Long time between drinks for Black Ferns ahead of 100th Test

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The 34-strong squad has arrived in Exeter to prepare the match and Assistant Coach John Haggart said they have come together well.

 

“It has been a challenging build up, some players were in lockdown and not able to train or play but this team comes together so quickly. They love being together, they are a big family and you can see they thrive off each other.”

 

Haggart said the mix of players in the squad is exciting for the growth of the Black Ferns.

 

“Having that mix of senior players who have experience, and a younger group is massive. Our senior players have taken a lead on that to guide and mentor both on and off the field. If we continue to nail that, we will be better off for it in 2022.”

 

 

Portia Woodman, Kelly Brazier and Stacey Fluhler are with the squad, just months after winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics. They've made a seamless transition back into the 15-a-side game.

 

“They are high performing elite athletes, you can feel the level of professionalism go up a notch when you’ve got players of that calibre in the mix, it really does help the whole environment,” said Haggart.

 

With the first Test in more than two years now only days away, Haggart said the excitement levels have risen. 

 

“It seems like an age since our last Test in San Diego in 2019. We have a real sense of purpose, it's all very well training and having camps but there is nothing like having a Test to look forward too.

 

“England are a quality side, we respect what they do so it will be a tough battle for us this weekend. But we believe we will put a good team out there and take them on.”

 

The team to face England will be named on Saturday morning NZT.

 

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