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Black Ferns to host four-nation series

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/02/2017

New Zealand will host England, Canada and Australia in a mid-year four-nation series leading into the Women's Rugby World Cup.

Wellington, Christchurch and Rotorua will host six Tests in the space of eight days in mid-June, featuring four of the strongest nations in the women's game.

The feature match in the final round pits the Black Ferns against world champions England in Rotorua on June 17.

That match will act as a curtain-raiser for the match between the Maori All Blacks and the touring British & Irish Lions.

The Black Ferns open the series against Canada at Wellington's Westpac Stadium on June 9, which also serves as half of a double-header. It precedes a Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and Chiefs.

The match between New Zealand and Australia in Christchurch on June 13 will be the first time the Black Ferns have played in the South Island in 20 years.

Coach of the world No.1 ranked Black Ferns Glenn Moore expects interest in the series to match the growing status of the women's game.

He says it provides an ideal lead-in to the 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," he said.

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

Four nations series:

June 9, Wellington - New Zealand v Canada, Westpac Stadium. Australia v England, Porirua Park.

June 13, Christchurch - New Zealand v Australia, Rugby Park. Canada v England, Rugby Park.

June 17, Rotorua - New Zealand v England, Rotorua International Stadium. Australia v Canada, Smallbone Park.

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