The Black Ferns have confirmed a revised three-match schedule for November, featuring a Probables versus Possibles match between the country’s top female rugby players.
New Zealand Rugby confirmed the three fixtures this afternoon, stating they will take place at the conclusion of the Farah Palmer Cup competition.
After the domestic tournament, players will be selected for a Probables versus Possibles match on Saturday, November 7 with national selection on the line for two New Zealand Barbarians matches which will take place on the following two Saturdays.
NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said venues and kick-off times will be announced in the coming weeks, adding he was pleased to secure matches for the Black Ferns and their fans, despite the challenges caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic.
“Covid-19 has caused a range of unique complexities for the international women’s game,” Robinson said.
“Many players balance work commitments with rugby, so for many teams extended periods away from their home countries to play international rugby is tough. The financial implications of quarantine and travel are also significant to teams.
“We’re committed to having the Black Ferns play in front of our local fans as we build up to next year’s Rugby World Cup and the opening rounds of the Farah Palmer Cup have been a good indicator of the outstanding quality of rugby we can expect from these three matches.”
Black Ferns Head Coach Glenn Moore said the matches would be an opportunity for players to contest a spot in the Rugby World Cup squad for 2021.
“Everyone has a lot to play for,” Moore said.
“While we would have loved to play eight Tests this year as planned, the Covid-19 situation has delivered significant challenges for everyone. We'll take the opportunity we have to assemble and make the most of the rugby we do have. The most important thing is to be ready for September next year and we are determined to have the most prepared team there.
“We’ve had some really good training camps already this year and the talent the coaches and I are seeing in the Farah Palmer Cup is impressive. We will have some tough decisions on our hands.”