Despite a large number of faces, the Blacks Ferns are confident of a good result in their historic match against the Wallaroos in Sydney this weekend.
The two sides meet in a double-header evening at Olympic Park, with a women’s match to be followed by the All Blacks against the Wallabies. This means that the Black Ferns will kick off at 7:15pm NZT, traditionally the prime time slot for rugby.
However, the magnitude of the occasion hasn’t phased centre Chelsea Alley, who says that while the side is now fully contracted, there’s ‘not a lot different in the camp’.
“It’s still the same level of professionalism, girls are still fighting for their jerseys and it’s great to be part of the team.”
Olympic Park seats around 80,000, and is a pretty daunting venue, for any visiting team. Striding out to play on it will be Alley’s first ever visit to the iconic venue, but says that it hasn’t been a topic of conversation amongst the Black Ferns yet.
“I guess we’re not really sure what to expect. But I’m sure as the week builds we’ll start to think about that and how we can best prepare.”
The team trained at Latham Park in Coogee yesterday, while the All Blacks had their session at their traditional base of North Sydney Oval.