The stern challenges keep coming for the Black Ferns.

After edging England 25-20 in London on Sunday, the world's No 1 side face the No 2-ranked Canada in the early hours of Thursday morning in Dublin.

The Canadians, who are in the Black Ferns' World Cup pool next year, dispatched Ireland 48-7 on the weekend, so should pose some problems for New Zealand.

Openside flanker Sharnita Woodman of the Counties Manukau Heat may make her long-awaited debut from the bench after not featuring in the home series win over the Wallaroos last month. Woodman is one of six changes to the squad that played England in London.


Wellington Pride loose forward Jackie Fereti (nee Patea), who has 11 internationals under her belt, will replace Rawinia Everitt, who has returned home with a shoulder injury. Charmaine Smith will start at openside flanker, with Charlene Gubb at lock.

Carla Hohepa comes off the bench to be named in the starting 15 at centre, and Portia Woodman has moved to right wing.

Coach Glenn Moore said the Black Ferns were tested during their win over England and he expects the same from the Canadians.

"Canada will be buoyed after beating the Irish 48-7 at the weekend. They are a side that's getting better and better and their confidence will be high. We're expecting another tough match," Moore says.

Canada have retained their starting XV.

"We know they're strong and that they're No 1 in the world," Canadian coach Francois Ratier said. "We have to sit down and see where they have some weaknesses but they don't have too many."

"They're in our pool for the World Cup next year so we want to send them a message," said lock Latoya Blackwood with some fighting talk. "We're going to put up a fight and show them what Canadian rugby looks like."

Black Ferns v Canada
Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin
Thursday, 2am (NZT)

Canada: Julianne Zussman, Magali Harvey, Alex Tessier, Andrea Burk, Elissa Alarie, Emily Belchos, Chelsea Guthrie, Kelly Russell, Karen Paquin, Jacey Grusnick, Kayla Mack, Latoya Blackwood, DaLeaka Menin, Laura Russell, Carolyn McEwen; Reserves: Julia Folk, Olivia DeMerchant, Demi Stamatakis, Tyson Beukeboom, Barbara Mervin, Brianna Miller, Anais Holly, Brittany Waters

New Zealand: Selica Winiata, Portia Woodman, Carla Hohepa, Chelsea Alley, Renee Wickliffe, Kelly Brazier, Kendra Cocksedge, Aroha Savage, Charmaine McMenamin, Charmaine Smith, Charlene Gubb, Eloise Blackwell, Aleisha Nelson, Fiao'o Fa'amausili (c), Toka Natua; Reserves: Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Aldora Itunu, Aotearoa Mata'u, Sharnita Woodman, Angie Sisifa, Kristina Sue, Janna Vaughan, Hazel Tubic