Rugby World Cup: Halfback Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu named captain as Black Ferns rotate again for final pool match against Scotland

Director of rugby Wayne Smith has again shuffled his deck, naming a rotated Black Ferns side for their final Rugby World Cup pool match, facing Scotland in Whangārei on Saturday.

As the last chance to give his players game time before the knockout stage, after securing a quarter-final place with last week's win over Wales, Smith has made considerable changes from last Sunday.

Halfback Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu will captain the Black Ferns in just her second test start, with team co-captain Ruahei Demant dropping to the bench. Hazel Tubic starts in the No.10 jersey to form a new halves pairing with Marino Tauhinu.

The Black Ferns against Wales.
The Black Ferns against Wales. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

Elsewhere, Winger Ayesha Leti-I'iga is given a chance to show her wares in the No.11 jersey, after missing the start of the tournament through injury. 

The 23-year-old has had to watch as Sevens stars Portia Woodman and Ruby Tui impress on the flanks, but on Saturday will get her chance to push for a spot in the first-choice starting side.

In the loose forwards, the trio of Alanah Bremner, Sarah Hirini and Liana Mikaele-Tu'u are given a chance to start together, while Phillipa Love, Georgia Ponsonby and Amy Rule make up an all-Cantabrian front row.

After impressing in New Zealand's opening victory over Australia, Stacey Fluhler is unavailable through injury, seeing Theresa Fitzpatrick and Amy du Plessis combine in midfield, while Renee Holmes comes in at fullback to partner with Leti-I'iga and Renee Wickliffe in the back three.

"We've seen bits and pieces of the game we want to play so this test is about bringing that all together for a more complete performance," said Smith. 

"We expect Scotland to be tough up front, so our attitude will need to be there right from kick off."

The Black Ferns have met Scotland three times in their history, winning 21-0, 30-9 and 76-0. However, Saturday's test will be the first time the two sides have faced off since 2006.

Black Ferns: 1-Phillipa Love, 2-Georgia Ponsonby, 3-Amy Rule, 4-Joanah Ngan-Woo, 5-Maiakawanakualani Roos, 6-Alanah Bremner, 7-Sarah Hirini, 8-Liana Mikaele-Tu'u, 9-Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (c), 10-Hazel Tubic, 11-Ayesha Leti-I'iga, 12-Theresa Fitzpatrick, 13-Amy du Plessis, 14-Renee Wickliffe, 15-Renee Holmes.

Reserves: 16-Natalie Delamare, 17-Krystal Murray, 18-Tanya Kalounivale, 19-Chelsea Bremner, 20-Kendra Reynolds, 21-Kendra Cocksedge, 22-Sylvia Brunt, 23-Ruahei Demant.  

Catch the Rugby World Cup live on Spark Sport or free-to-air on Three, or join Newshub at 4:45pm Saturday for live updates of the Black Ferns v Scotland pool encounter