From Gizzy to Black Ferns

McMenamin on bench for Wallaroos clash.

McMenamin on bench for Wallaroos clash.

FORMER Gisborne Girls’ High School prefect Charmaine McMenamin is on the reserves bench for the Black Ferns for tomorrow afternoon’s test against Australian counterparts the Wallaroos at Eden Park, the curtain-raiser to the All Blacks-Wallabies Bledisloe Cup clash.

The 26-year-old Ponsonby and Auckland Storm loose forward is sure to get game time and push for a place in the second test (on Wednesday) and for further matches against England and Ireland in November.

McMenamin is back in the Black Ferns squad for the first time since 2013, when she made her debut off the bench against England.

She also played for the Kiwi Ferns (rugby league) in 2012 and this year in the Ferns’ 26-16 victory over the Jillaroos in Newcastle in May.

The versatile loose forward — who can cover both sides at the back of the scrum — has been focusing on sevens for the past few seasons but continued to turn out for the Storm in the women’s provincial championship and Ponsonby at club level.

She scored a try in the Farah Palmer Cup national provincial final against Counties Manukau in Pukekohe this month.

“Unfortunately we didn’t win, which was disappointing,” said the dispatch supervisor for the Auckland-based Hellers NZ Butchers.

“Ponsonby finished third in the club championship so getting back into the Black Ferns is a bonus.

“It’s exciting to be back and I’m fully focused on union.

“I was playing league on Saturday and union on Sundays but it got too much for the body and for work.”

Never lost to Wallaroos

The Black Ferns have never lost to the Wallaroos, and McMenamin said the New Zealanders were conscious of that record going into the two-test series.

“It’s an added pressure. No one wants to be in the first Black Ferns team to lose to Australia but it’s also an added incentive to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

McMenamin played for the Kiwi Ferns in two tests against England in 2012 but turned down the chance to play in the women’s league world cup campaign to try to break into the Black Ferns.

“Women’s rugby league is getting better but right now there’s more pathways for union.

“I’d be keen to head overseas when I’ve accomplished all I want to here in NZ. But for now, all my focus is on getting into the match 22 for the next test and cementing my place in the team.”

Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore said he and his coaching team were confident they had selected a skilled squad, strong across the board, as preparation for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 starts to ramp up.

“We have a great forward pack and very talented backs,” he said.

“We don’t know much about the Wallaroos but the Laurie O’Reilly Cup is on the line and, like all Australian teams, they will be determined to perform strongly against New Zealand.”

Second test

The second test is at QBE Stadium on the North Shore on Wednesday.

McMenamin is the daughter of Bernard and Rochelle McMenamin. Her sister Bronya is also a talented all-round sportswoman.

Her parents and brother (Tiare) will be cheering Charmaine on from the sideline at tomorrow’s test, which kicks off at 5.05pm.

FORMER Gisborne Girls’ High School prefect Charmaine McMenamin is on the reserves bench for the Black Ferns for tomorrow afternoon’s test against Australian counterparts the Wallaroos at Eden Park, the curtain-raiser to the All Blacks-Wallabies Bledisloe Cup clash.

The 26-year-old Ponsonby and Auckland Storm loose forward is sure to get game time and push for a place in the second test (on Wednesday) and for further matches against England and Ireland in November.

McMenamin is back in the Black Ferns squad for the first time since 2013, when she made her debut off the bench against England.

She also played for the Kiwi Ferns (rugby league) in 2012 and this year in the Ferns’ 26-16 victory over the Jillaroos in Newcastle in May.

The versatile loose forward — who can cover both sides at the back of the scrum — has been focusing on sevens for the past few seasons but continued to turn out for the Storm in the women’s provincial championship and Ponsonby at club level.

She scored a try in the Farah Palmer Cup national provincial final against Counties Manukau in Pukekohe this month.

“Unfortunately we didn’t win, which was disappointing,” said the dispatch supervisor for the Auckland-based Hellers NZ Butchers.

“Ponsonby finished third in the club championship so getting back into the Black Ferns is a bonus.

“It’s exciting to be back and I’m fully focused on union.

“I was playing league on Saturday and union on Sundays but it got too much for the body and for work.”

Never lost to Wallaroos

The Black Ferns have never lost to the Wallaroos, and McMenamin said the New Zealanders were conscious of that record going into the two-test series.

“It’s an added pressure. No one wants to be in the first Black Ferns team to lose to Australia but it’s also an added incentive to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

McMenamin played for the Kiwi Ferns in two tests against England in 2012 but turned down the chance to play in the women’s league world cup campaign to try to break into the Black Ferns.

“Women’s rugby league is getting better but right now there’s more pathways for union.

“I’d be keen to head overseas when I’ve accomplished all I want to here in NZ. But for now, all my focus is on getting into the match 22 for the next test and cementing my place in the team.”

Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore said he and his coaching team were confident they had selected a skilled squad, strong across the board, as preparation for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 starts to ramp up.

“We have a great forward pack and very talented backs,” he said.

“We don’t know much about the Wallaroos but the Laurie O’Reilly Cup is on the line and, like all Australian teams, they will be determined to perform strongly against New Zealand.”

Second test

The second test is at QBE Stadium on the North Shore on Wednesday.

McMenamin is the daughter of Bernard and Rochelle McMenamin. Her sister Bronya is also a talented all-round sportswoman.

Her parents and brother (Tiare) will be cheering Charmaine on from the sideline at tomorrow’s test, which kicks off at 5.05pm.

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