It's all happening for the Black Ferns in October/November.

Often starved of internationals between Rugby World Cups, and with just three tests in Canada under their belt in 2015, they will now play five times in as many weeks later this year.

The Black Ferns will play the curtainraiser against the Australian Wallaroos before the Bledisloe Cup test in Auckland, ahead of an end of year tour to the United Kingdom.

Black Ferns fans can watch them take on Australia on October 22 at Eden Park and again on October 26 at QBE Stadium on the North Shore. The Wallaroos last toured in 2014, losing to the Black Ferns in Rotorua (38-3) and Tauranga (16-8).


The end of year tour sees the national women's side take on Canada, Ireland and England in the United Kingdom in November. The November 27 test against Ireland in Dublin will offer the chance for revenge after that nation derailed their 2014 RWC campaign.

Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore said the five test matches are an important part of the build-up to the Women's Rugby World Cup in Ireland in August 2017.

"This is a very big year for the Black Ferns and we're really excited about the programme."

Last year there were 12 new caps in the side we took to Canada and they proved themselves on a world stage. This year we'll be looking to build on our success and begin our preparation for the World Cup.

"We've been running a training and strength and conditioning programme for more than 50 players since the beginning of the year and the players have been working really hard. We're looking at the pool of players now and the Farah Palmer Cup will be vital for helping finalise our squad."

Moore said the confirmation of a five-test programme demonstrated New Zealand Rugby's commitment to women's rugby and the Black Ferns.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) chief executive Steve Tew said women's rugby was a priority for the organisation and welcomed the opportunity to showcase the country's top players on the international stage.

"This year's international programme also gives the team a chance to play in front of their New Zealand fans, family and friends. The match against the Wallaroos at Eden Park will make for an exciting double-header of trans-Tasman rugby."

The champion Auckland Storm team will play the Australian Wallaroos in a warm-up match for the Australian side on October 18 in Auckland at a venue to be confirmed.

New Zealand Black Ferns 2016 match schedule (kickoff times TBC):

Home series
Saturday October 22: Black Ferns v Australian Wallaroos, Eden Park, Auckland
Wednesday October 26: Black Ferns v Australian Wallaroos, QBE Stadium, North Shore

End of year tour
Saturday November 19: Black Ferns v England, The Stoop, Twickenham, London
Wednesday November 23: Black Ferns v Canada, Doonybrook Stadium, Dublin
Sunday November 27: Black Ferns v Ireland, The Bowl, UND, Dublin