At a glance
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.
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.