At a glance

Nelson Mail - - Sport - Mark Geenty

Time train­ing – with the team and in­di­vid­u­ally – is de­mand­ing for an ath­lete who isn’t a full­time pro­fes­sional and has to fit in a full­time job.

‘‘If you’re go­ing through train­ing pro­grammes it means you’re go­ing to be a lit­tle later for work. You need an em­ployer who is go­ing to be flex­i­ble for help and you need the abil­ity to cover some of that in­come that you lose.’’

As head coach when the Black Ferns won the World Cup in 2017, and again for the year of the pay cheque, Moore says money has helped, but to im­prove his side needs more than that.

‘‘To keep get­ting bet­ter we need more com­pe­ti­tion and we need more com­pe­ti­tion against the big play­ers. It’s like any sport, the more time you get against good com­pe­ti­tion with high in­ten­sity and phys­i­cal­ity – it makes us bet­ter.

‘‘In all hon­esty, I don’t re­call ever hear­ing [con­tracts] talked about in here, the only thing I hear talked about is the pride in the jersey and the most im­por­tant part is rep­re­sent­ing the brand re­spect­fully.

‘‘I’m guess­ing for some of the ones get­ting an ed­u­ca­tion, it’s prob­a­bly the dif­fer­ence of be­ing able to go and train and maybe not have to work, wait­ress­ing at night sort of thing.

‘‘They are ob­vi­ously very ap­pre­cia­tive, but the only thing I ever hear men­tioned is the pride of play­ing in the jersey.’’

The Black Ferns ar­rived in France on Mon­day this week, with just four more days to re­cover af­ter their test match against the USA in Chicago. From Paris, they took the five-hour train trip to Toulon.

Moore ex­pected the French to be phys­i­cal in the for­wards and the Six Na­tions win­ners to test his side more than they were last week­end in the USA.

‘‘We re­alise they’ve got a big pack and a re­ally phys­i­cal pack. We want to play the game with high in­ten­sity through­out the game, that gives us abil­ity to make ex­tra re­place­ments in the for­wards,’’ he said.

‘‘Th­ese guys will be for­mi­da­ble op­po­nents, but we are al­ways back­ing our­selves to win no mat­ter who we play. We are look­ing for­ward to the match. We are re­spect­ful of them, but that’s where it starts and fin­ishes.’’

Moore has named one debu­tante – flanker Mar­celle Parkes, 20, from Welling­ton – in the lineup, while Hawke’s Bay’s Krys­ten Cot­trell will start at first five-eighth, with Rua­hei De­mant mov­ing out one spot to sec­ond five.

Parkes had been go­ing from strength to strength in train­ing and was ready to make her mark on the big stage, Moore pre­dicted.

The Black Ferns re­serves will be made up of six for­wards and two backs, a proven com­bi­na­tion from last year’s World Cup.

Black Ferns flanker Linda Itunu will re­tire fol­low­ing the Black Ferns’ se­ries against France. A 37-test vet­eran, she will come off the bench in the first test in Toulon to­day. Black Ferns: Phillipa Love, Fiao’o Faa­mausili (cap­tain), Al­dora Itunu, Eloise Black­well, Char­maine Smith, Les El­der, Aroha Sav­age, Kendra Cocksedge, Krys­ten Cot­trell, Aye­sha Leti-I’iga, Rua­hei De­mant, Stacey Waaka, Re­nee Wick­liffe, Sel­ica Wini­ata. Re­serves: Te Kura NgataAerenga­mate, Leilani Perese, Aleisha-Pearl Nel­son, Jackie PateaFer­eti, Linda Itunu, Mar­celle Parkes, Kristina Sue, Mon­ica Tagoai. Kick­off: 9am to­day Will Somerville fought back tears as he spoke of the emo­tion of a po­ten­tial New Zea­land test cricket de­but at the age of 34 this month.

Thir­teen years af­ter his first­class de­but for Otago, off­spin­ner Somerville is within touch­ing dis­tance of his first cap.

Welling­ton-born Somerville, who was tipped as an Aus­tralian test con­tender in early 2017 af­ter a pro­lific sea­son for New South Wales, is bound for the United Arab Emi­rates to re­place luck­less legspin­ner Todd As­tle in the test squad to face Pak­istan.

As­tle was ruled out of the tour on Thurs­day with a knee in­jury, an­other cruel blow af­ter he missed the sec­ond and de­cid­ing test against Eng­land in April with a side strain.

It opened the door for the tow­er­ing fig­ure of Somerville af­ter just two Plun­ket Shield matches for Auck­land, hav­ing quit NSW to chase se­lec­tion for his coun­try of birth.

‘‘I was in­cred­i­bly emo­tional [on Thurs­day] when I heard about it. My fam­ily’s made a lot of sac­ri­fices to come here with my chil­dren. It’s been a long time com­ing and my dad al­ways told me ‘your ca­reer is a les­son in per­sis­tence’. That’s some­thing I’ve held onto, per­sist­ing and try­ing to get bet­ter,’’ Somerville said yes­ter­day.

‘‘It’s ob­vi­ously ex­cite­ment but it does mean a hell of a lot. It’s more than just a game of cricket. It’s been my life for five years and since I was a kid I’ve been try­ing to do this. To get there this late makes it a bit sweeter.’’

Somerville moved to Syd­ney with his fam­ily as a young­ster then crossed the Tas­man again to study ac­count­ing at the Univer­sity of Otago.

GETTY IMAGES

Glenn Moore works with the Black Ferns dur­ing a train­ing ses­sion in Syd­ney this year, when they have be­come a pro­fes­sional team for the first time.

Will Somerville has leapt into Black Caps con­tention af­ter only two matches for Auck­land.

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