Rugby World Cup: Black Ferns make one change to starting side to face France in semi-final

The Black Ferns have made just one change to their side for the Rugby World Cup semi-final against France, bringing fullback Renee Holmes into the starting side.

Although the same matchday 23 has been named to face France at Eden Park, Holmes takes Ayesha Leti-I'iga's place in the starting side, and forces a shuffle in the back three.

Holmes takes the No.15 jersey, and moves Ruby Tui onto the right wing. Meanwhile, Portia Woodman - who broke the record for most tries scored at a Rugby World Cup in the win over Wales - swaps wings, and takes the No.11 jersey.

The Black Ferns celebrate against Wales.
The Black Ferns celebrate against Wales. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

"Renee is a specialist 15 and has been playing well there for us," said director of rugby Wayne Smith. 

"We also see Ayesha as an incredible impact player so we know she will come on and make a difference in the game."

Elsewhere, the rest of the side is unchanged, seeing co-captain Kennedy Simon remain on the bench, with a loose forward trio of Alanah Bremner, Sarah Hirini and Liana Mikaele-Tu'u backed to continue.

Fellow co-captain Ruahei Demant will continue to lead the side from the first whistle, named to partner halfback Kendra Cocksedge, while Theresa Fitzpatrick and Stacey Fluhler in midfield.

The Black Ferns are winless in their last four tests against France - although Saturday will be the first time the two teams square off on Kiwi soil.

New Zealand also lost both tests to France on the 2021 northern tour, with 12 players returning from that side.

Black Ferns: 1-Phillipa Love, 2-Georgia Ponsonby, 3-Amy Rule, 4-Maiakawanakaulani Roos, 5-Chelsea Bremner, 6-Alana Bremner, 7-Sarah Hirini, 8-Liana Mikaele-Tu'u, 9-Kendra Cocksedge, 10-Ruahei Demant (cc), 11-Portia Woodman, 12-Theresa Fitzpatrick, 13-Stacey Fluhler, 14-Ruby Tui, 15-Renee Holmes

Reserves: 16-Luka Connor, 17-Krystal Murray, 18-Santo Taumata, 19-Joanah Ngan-Woo, 20-Kennedy Simon (cc), 21-Ariana Bayler, 22-Hazel Tubic, 23-Ayesha Leti-I'iga

Catch the Rugby World Cup live on Spark Sport or free-to-air on Three, or join Newshub from 7:30pm Saturday for live updates of the Black Ferns v France semi-final