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Red Roses to face Black Ferns twice in the autumn

By Paul Smith
Abigail Dow of England touches down for the second try during the Old Mutual Wealth Series match between England and Canada at Twickenham Stadium on November 25, 2017. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

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England Women will play four home tests this autumn including back-to-back matches against New Zealand.

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The world’s no.1 ranked side will take on the Black Ferns on the weekends of October 29-31 and November 5-7 with exact dates and venues to be confirmed.

The Red Roses’ autumn campaign is completed by clashes with Canada (weekend of November 12-14) and USA (weekend of November 19-21).

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The 2021 autumn series, which is England’s first meetings with all three teams since 2019, provides crucial preparation for the rescheduled World Cup which takes place in New Zealand in October 2022.

Canada, who are currently World Rugby’s third-ranked side, were regular visitors to England prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After contesting back-to-back games across a three-match series in 2017 the teams last met on English soil at Doncaster Knights’ Castle Park in November 2018 in a well-contested 27-19 win for the Red Roses.

England earned a comfortable victory over USA as part of the same series.

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England Women head coach Simon Middleton said the autumn series forms a vital part of the Red Roses’ World Cup build up.

“We haven’t played any of these teams since 2019,” he said.

“I thought the standard of rugby and the closeness of the games in that Super Series competition showed just how hugely competitive this series is likely to be.

“To now be able to play against three of the top six ranked teams in the world is something to look forward to and a great opportunity.

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“We haven’t played New Zealand in back-to-back matches since 2013. These games are always really intriguing, you have to react to what happened in the first, there’s a little bit of countering what one team does, it’s a bit of a chess game so that’ll be brilliant.

“It goes without saying that this series provides the perfect opportunity for individuals to display their World Cup credentials and stake an early claim for a place in what will be the most competitive squad selection we will have made since the 2017 World Cup.”

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Red Roses to face Black Ferns twice in the autumn

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