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Black Ferns to play Canada and Australia in 2014 Series

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allblacks.com     11 Oct 2013     Getty Images


The Black Ferns will play Canada and Australia in the 2014 International Series ahead of the IRB Women's Rugby World Cup in France next year, New Zealand Rugby announced today.

In announcing the three-way Series, New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said the matches will be an important platform for the current world champions in women’s rugby.

"Next year's programme will give the Black Ferns the ideal preparation before they travel to France to compete for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in August. It also provides Canada and Australia with an opportunity to shake off the cobwebs before getting stuck into their own World Cup campaigns," he said.

Next year's programme has been announced on the back of a successful inbound 2013 season when traditional powerhouse England were defeated 3-0 by a dominant and determined Black Ferns side in June this year.

"We saw a very gutsy Black Ferns team fight hard for their wins over England during this year’s International Series. The victories were particularly special as the Series opener marked a significant milestone with the 1000th international match in women’s world rugby."

The International Series will see the Black Ferns play the Canadian women and the Australian Wallaroos, with the visiting teams also playing each other in New Zealand.

Black Ferns Head Coach Brian Evans said the International Series would be a great opportunity to promote talent on display during this year’s Women’s Provincial Championship.

“We have seen some really good and entertaining rugby in this year’s competition, and we know there are some new faces, and young faces that would love the opportunity to play for their country.”

Rugby Canada’s General Manager of Rugby Operations and Performance Mike Chu said they were excited at the prospect of testing their national team against the current world champions.

“This is a pretty unique opportunity. Women’s rugby has grown at a remarkable pace in Canada, and New Zealand is definitely one of the teams all countries look to beat.

“We believe we will have a competitive side next year, and we’re excited to be visiting a country and playing a team that is special.”

Wallaroos Head Coach Paul Verrell said the event is the perfect preparation for Australia leading into the World Cup in France.

“Playing the Black Ferns is always challenging – last time we met in a pool match at the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup, New Zealand dominated and beat us 32-5,” said Verrell.

“We will take a combination of experience and new talent to New Zealand in an attempt to turn around that result and we’re really looking forward to playing Canada for the first time on the international stage.”

The Test matches will all be hosted by Bay of Plenty Rugby Union across Rotorua, Tauranga and Whakatane in June.

Dates and venues for fixtures will be confirmed later this year.