New Zealand's outside backs have run amok to open their women's rugby World Cup campaign with a 44-12 win over Wales in Dublin.

Fullback Selica Winiata bagged a hat-trick while there was a double for winger Renee Wickliffe as the four-time champions started the tournament in resounding fashion.

Seven of the eight tries went to outside backs, with Kaikohe winger Portia Woodman and centre Stacey Waaka also registering.

The exception to the rule was one try to lock Eloise Blackwell.

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The winning margin would have been greater were it not for wayward goalkicking performance from halfback Kendra Cocksedge.

She landed two-of-seven conversion attempts and spent 10 minutes in the sinbin late in the game for a deliberate knock-down.

Winiata opened the scoring in the eighth minute after some fine set-up work from Woodman, then Waaka doubled the lead in the 22nd minute.

After a long period of attack from Wales, the Black Ferns were able to turn the ball over and after a long break-out, Wickliffe was on the end of the line to score the first of her two tries.

An 80m intercept effort shortly afterwards added to the Ferns' lead after the halftime siren.

Woodman left would-be defenders in her wake out wide in the 52nd minute, before Blackwell got on the board for the hard-working forwards four minutes later, with Cocksedge's first conversion of the match giving New Zealand a 32-0 lead.

Wales did show some fight and were given due reward when number eight Sioned Harries bowled her way over the white line.

Winiata scored her second to restore the 32-point lead before Cocksedge was sinbinned, with Melissa Clay scoring from the ensuing lineout and drive for Wales.

But the Black Ferns proved too dominant throughout the contest and look well on their way to their sixth World title.

The Black Ferns can expect a straightforward win over Hong Kong in their second pool match on Sunday after the minnows opened with a 98-0 drubbing from Canada.

World number three Canada shape as dangerous opponents for the New Zealanders in the final round of pool play.