Semple gutted but understands Black Ferns RWC squad omission

Andrew Saville
Source: 1News

Black Ferns international Chelsea Semple said she’s extremely disappointed to be dropped from the squad for the upcoming Rugby World Cup but is vowing to carry on and make it back into the New Zealand team.

Chelsea Semple lies on the field after being concussed against the Wallaroos.

Semple, 29, was one of the key omissions from the 32-player squad confirmed Tuesday, along with Sevens star Tyla Nathan-Wong and veteran lock Eloise Blackwell.

The midfielder told 1News she can understand the reasoning behind her missing out with limited game time across 2022. In fact, in the immortal words of the dearly departed Queen Elizabeth II, this has been her Annus Horribilis.

Semple first suffered a hamstring injury earlier this year, followed by Covid during the inaugural Super Rugby Aupiki competition only then to go down with the flu during the international Pac 4 series.

But wait there’s more - she was also concussed after a heavy knock in the second Laurie O’Reilly Test against Australia in Adelaide a few weeks ago.

She said after going through the return to play protocols and undergoing tests she was cleared to take the field again.

READ MORE: 'No.8 wire' mentality key for Black Ferns' RWC build-up, campaign

However, she's now she’s in a moon boot recovering from a dislocated ankle suffered recently while training.

Given the year she’s had, Semple said she can understand why the selectors made the call, although she was hopeful after 11 years and nearly 30 Tests her experience might have seen her make the cut.

Instead, coach Wayne Smith selected teen prodigy Sylvia Brunt, regular starter Amy du Plessis and Sevens star Theresa Fitzpatrick.

Semple says she’s only contracted until the end of the this year, but is keen to carry on in 2023 and beyond.

1News understands Semple is on standby for the Rugby World Cup - should any of the midfielders pick up a campaign-ending injury - something she knows all about.