Black Ferns to play curtain-raiser to British and Irish Lions match in Rotorua

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The Black Ferns will play England as the curtain-raiser to the Maori All Blacks and British and Irish Lions game in Rotorua on June 17.
The Black Ferns will play England as the curtain-raiser to the Maori All Blacks and British and Irish Lions game in Rotorua on June 17.

Rotorua will host two women's rugby internationals in June including a Black Ferns match against England.

The match will act as the curtain-raiser to the Maori All Blacks match against the British and Irish Lions at the Rotorua International Stadium on June 17.

On the same day Australia will play Canada at the city's premier cricket ground Smallbone Park.

It's part of a series involving the four nations with other matches in Wellington and Christchurch.

The Black Ferns will play Canada at Westpac Stadium before the Hurricanes and Chiefs' Super Rugby match on June 9 and Australia at Rugby Park in Christchurch on June 13.

This will mark the first time the national women's team has played in the South Island since 1997.

Smallbone Park will also host Australia and Canada.  Photo/File
Smallbone Park will also host Australia and Canada. Photo/File


Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore said the international series was an opportunity for rugby fans around New Zealand to see the team in action.

"Women's rugby is growing and growing and so is our fan base. We hope fans come out in force to support the Black Ferns on their home soil."

Moore said the series would test the team against some of the tough opposition they are likely to meet in the Women's Rugby World Cup in Ireland and Northern Ireland in August.

"The World Cup is our focus and everything we do from now is about getting us in the best possible position for Dublin and Belfast.

"England is currently ranked second, Canada third and Australia sixth so we are expecting a tough series. Every team is out to prove themselves."

New Zealand Black Ferns Sarah Goss in action against the Wallaroos last year.  Photo/File
New Zealand Black Ferns Sarah Goss in action against the Wallaroos last year. Photo/File


Moore recently named a 51-strong wider training squad to identify and develop talent from around New Zealand.

International Women's Rugby Series

Friday, 9 June - Wellington
Black Ferns v Canada, Westpac Stadium (followed by Hurricanes v Chiefs)
Australia v England, Porirua Park

Tuesday, 13 June - Christchurch
Black Ferns v Australia, Rugby Park
Canada v England, Rugby Park

Saturday, 17 June - Rotorua
Black Ferns v England, Rotorua International Stadium (followed by Maori All Blacks v British & Irish Lions)
Australia v Canada, Smallbone Park

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