Black Ferns star Emma Jensen creates history as Barbarians confirm first women's team

Halfback Emma Jensen on the charge for the Black Ferns against England.
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Halfback Emma Jensen on the charge for the Black Ferns against England.

New Zealand's triple World Cup winner Emma Jensen will be part of rugby history when she is named in the British Barbarians first women's team.

Former Black Fern Jensen will join players from seven countries under the banner of the famous English club.

The women's team will play a Munster outfit at Thomond Park in Limmerick, Ireland on November 10.

Emma Jensen was honoured for her 100th appearance for Auckland when they played old rivals Canterbury in September.
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Emma Jensen was honoured for her 100th appearance for Auckland when they played old rivals Canterbury in September.

Their game will be a curtainraiser to the Barbarians men's match against Tonga.

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The 39-year-old Jensen was part of the New Zealand squad that won the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups. The halfback was also involved in the 2014 World Cup. She celebrated her 100th game for Auckland this season.

The women's team will be officially unveiled in Britain on Wednesday (NZT) and will be led by Giselle Mather, a World Cup-winner with England and currently the Wasps director of rugby.

The Barbarians have picked up the baton for women's rugby on the back of the hugely successful World Cup in Ireland earlier this year where New Zealand beat England in a pulsating final.

"We're delighted to open a new chapter in the Barbarian FC's history with the creation of our women's team this season," club chairman John Spencer told The Guardian.

"Its formation is something we've been working towards for a number of years and it is a reflection of the excellence of the global women's game which was showcased so brilliantly at this year's World Cup.

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"Our aim is to welcome more talented players into this iconic club to forge new friendships and play with the style and passion for which the Barbarians are famous. We are working with clubs and unions around the world to make sure it benefits the players and the game."

Scotland's Susie Brown, France's Christelle Le Duff and Kelly Russell of Canada are other players confirmed.

Mather is thrilled to be leading the team and feels the women's game is booming.

"The Barbarians are one of the reasons I fell in love with rugby and to be coaching this side is a massive honour," Mather said.

"It's going to be a massive opportunity for all these athletes. The state of the women's game is phenomenal at the moment following events like the World Cup and the launch of the Premier 15s in England. With the Barbarians coming in on top of that it's taking the game to a different level."

 - Stuff

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