Gisborne presence in curtain-raiser

A face-off in store

A face-off in store

Charmaine McMenamin. Pictures supplied
Evelyn Horomia.

A Gisborne face-off of sorts is in store when the Black Ferns meet Australia’s Wallaroos in the curtain-raiser to the Bledisloe Cup opening test tonight.

In the Black Ferns No.6 jersey will be former Gisborne Girls’ High School student Charmaine McMenamin, daughter of Gisborne’s Bernard and Rochelle McMenamin.

Wearing No.3 for the Aussies will be Evelyn Horomia, the daughter of former Gisborne couple Alf and Doris Horomia, who moved to Hamilton 20 years ago and now live in Brisbane.

Auckland-based flanker McMenamin will be playing in her 15th test, while Sydney-based prop Horomia will line up in only her third test, and first against New Zealand.

Twenty-eight-year-old McMenamin, who got into the game while at Gisborne Girls’ High, was a member of the Black Ferns team who won the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland and went on to be named World Rugby Team of the Year.

Horomia, 32, was in the Wallaroos squad for the world cup only to return home before the cup had kicked off after she suffered a calf injury in training.

The world champion Black Ferns are obvious favourites for tomorrow’s Laurie O’Reilly Memorial Trophy clash at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium. The last time the sides met, at Christchurch in June last year, New Zealand ran in eight tries in a 44-17 win. The average difference between the sides in tests is 28 points.

But the Australians believe they have improved significantly since last year, a progression they put down to the introduction of the Super W inter-state women’s elite rugby competition.

Horomia was in the New South Wales squad who won the inaugural competition — fullback Ash Hewson kicking a penalty after the fulltime siren to beat Queensland 16-13 in the final.

A 40-strong Wallaroos squad was selected after the final. They were whittled down to 28 for a training camp in Canberra in the build-up to tonight’s test.

Women’s rugby is not professional in Australia — most of the players have fulltime jobs — but for the first time the players named for the camp are receiving payment and those who play in the tests receive further payment.

McMenamin was among the 28 female 15-a-side players to be offered Black Ferns contracts by New Zealand Rugby in May.

Meanwhile, it is a huge rugby weekend for the Horomia family, with Evelyn’s brother Alfonso to start at second five-eighth for the GPS Gallopers in the Queensland premier rugby grand final against University of Queensland at Ballymore on Sunday.

The Black Ferns-Australia test tonight will be shown live on Sky Sport 1, with coverage from 6.30pm and kick-off at 7.15pm.

A Gisborne face-off of sorts is in store when the Black Ferns meet Australia’s Wallaroos in the curtain-raiser to the Bledisloe Cup opening test tonight.

In the Black Ferns No.6 jersey will be former Gisborne Girls’ High School student Charmaine McMenamin, daughter of Gisborne’s Bernard and Rochelle McMenamin.

Wearing No.3 for the Aussies will be Evelyn Horomia, the daughter of former Gisborne couple Alf and Doris Horomia, who moved to Hamilton 20 years ago and now live in Brisbane.

Auckland-based flanker McMenamin will be playing in her 15th test, while Sydney-based prop Horomia will line up in only her third test, and first against New Zealand.

Twenty-eight-year-old McMenamin, who got into the game while at Gisborne Girls’ High, was a member of the Black Ferns team who won the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland and went on to be named World Rugby Team of the Year.

Horomia, 32, was in the Wallaroos squad for the world cup only to return home before the cup had kicked off after she suffered a calf injury in training.

The world champion Black Ferns are obvious favourites for tomorrow’s Laurie O’Reilly Memorial Trophy clash at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium. The last time the sides met, at Christchurch in June last year, New Zealand ran in eight tries in a 44-17 win. The average difference between the sides in tests is 28 points.

But the Australians believe they have improved significantly since last year, a progression they put down to the introduction of the Super W inter-state women’s elite rugby competition.

Horomia was in the New South Wales squad who won the inaugural competition — fullback Ash Hewson kicking a penalty after the fulltime siren to beat Queensland 16-13 in the final.

A 40-strong Wallaroos squad was selected after the final. They were whittled down to 28 for a training camp in Canberra in the build-up to tonight’s test.

Women’s rugby is not professional in Australia — most of the players have fulltime jobs — but for the first time the players named for the camp are receiving payment and those who play in the tests receive further payment.

McMenamin was among the 28 female 15-a-side players to be offered Black Ferns contracts by New Zealand Rugby in May.

Meanwhile, it is a huge rugby weekend for the Horomia family, with Evelyn’s brother Alfonso to start at second five-eighth for the GPS Gallopers in the Queensland premier rugby grand final against University of Queensland at Ballymore on Sunday.

The Black Ferns-Australia test tonight will be shown live on Sky Sport 1, with coverage from 6.30pm and kick-off at 7.15pm.

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