The Black Ferns' first test in two years against Australia has been plunged into doubt as Covid-19 continues to hamper New Zealand Rugby's plans this year.
The Ferns were set to take on Australia in two tests for the O'Reilly Cup, with the first test scheduled for September 26 at Rugby Park in Christchurch followed by a rematch at Eden Park on October 2.
However, the re-emergence of Covid-19 in the community and the resulting Level 4 lockdown has put the test series in serious doubt, with the reopening of the transtasman bubble with Australia now looking increasingly unlikely, and a schedule change set to be required.
Black Ferns veteran Kendra Cocksedge, who is also the women's rugby participation manager at NZ Rugby, said the rugby governing body is working on plans around those two tests.
"I know New Zealand Rugby are working through that and working through different possibilities in how that might look," she told Gold AM's Country Sport Breakfast.
But the good news for the Ferns is they have secured a four-match test series in October and November against England and France, providing much-needed preparation for next year's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
The defending world champions will play two tests in England starting on the final weekend of October, followed by a trip to France in November.
"We're not quite sure yet [about the Australia tests] but I guess the most exciting thing is having these four tests locked in at the end of the year," Cocksedge said.
Lockdown has also forced the suspension of the Farah Palmer Cup this week – along with all forms of rugby in New Zealand – which has left Cocksedge's unbeaten Canterbury side to train on their own at home.
The 33-year-old said the country's move to alert Level 4 hasn't impacted their lives – from a training perspective – much so far, but she was thankful for the support the team has provided.
"We've got so much support around us down here; our high performance group is really good. We have messages from the trainer around what the rest of the week looks like. Girls are out running, some have gym setups at home, some have Wattbikes at home, otherwise just out there hitting the pavement really.
"The competition is likely to be moved around a little bit so it'll be interesting to see how the rest of the season pans out now."
Cocksedge, who became the first woman to be awarded the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year Award in 2018, has been at the forefront of New Zealand's women's rugby boom over the last few years.
While she says Covid-19 has disrupted the sport's progress recently, she was still excited about the growth of the women's game in New Zealand.
"It kind of filtered down from the last Olympics really. The girls won the silver in Rio and it took off after that, then with the 15s World Cup winning that.
"We just had to leave things in place - and now the game's continued to grow. Obviously Covid has put a little bit of a hold on things but we're charging back forward again and now with the Olympics girls winning the gold medal."
On a personal level, Cocksedge is working towards making the Black Ferns team for next year's home World Cup.
"Obviously we've got a lot of work to do in the next year and I'd love to be a part of that side on home turf.
"We've been a very strong side and a really successful team in the past and to play in a World Cup at home would be amazing, in front of family and friends.
"We're seen as massive role models here now and the game is growing so much, so it would be cool to inspire that next generation."