Three key rivals for Black Ferns at World Cup

Getty Images

    31 Jul 2017     Getty Images

New Zealand share Pool A with Canada, Wales and Hong Kong. Their opening game is against Wales on August 9, Hong Kong on August 13 and Canada on August 17. Semifinals will be on August 22 and the final on August 26.


The first Women's World Cup was played in 1991 with the United States beating England in the final 19-6. New Zealand shared third place with France.

In 1994 England beat the USA 38-23 in the final.

New Zealand won their first world title in 1998 beating the USA 44-12. They added the 2002 title with a 19-9 win over England. In 2006 they beat England 25-17 and in 2010 they completed a hat-trick of finals wins over England 13-10. However, they did not feature in the play-offs in 2014 when England beat Canada 21-9 to claim the title.

Fa'amausili, who is attending her fifth World Cup, said the Black Ferns were aware of the threats posted by England, Canada and Ireland.

"Being the Women's Rugby World Cup you have to play every game like it's your last," she told The Rugby Paper.
"England have done their homework and been together for quite a while. With England we have to make sure to shut them down early – particularly upfront," she said.

England gained the favouritism with their 29-21 win in June over the Black Ferns in Rotorua when playing the early game ahead of the Maori All Blacks-British & Irish Lions game.

But lock Tamara Taylor said the England side were not reading too much into that result.

"It was a fine performance but in reality it shows nothing more than how well we can play if we execute properly in a big game.

"We'll happily 'bank' the confidence such a win gives you but after that you shelve the memories. They will count for nothing come the World Cup.

"The New Zealand that turn up in Ireland will be a very different opponent and that's if we even meet them. Who knows how the tournament will pan out," she said.