England Women will play four home Tests this autumn, including back-to-back matches against New Zealand.
The Red Roses, ranked No.1 in the world, will take on the Black Ferns (weekends of 29-31 October and 5-7 November) as well as Canada (weekend of 12-14 November) and USA (weekend of 19-21 November). *
The quartet of matches against some of the top ranked teams in the world will be Simon Middleton’s side’s first meetings with all three teams since the 2019 Super Series.
A double-header with Glenn Moore’s New Zealand will act as crucial preparation ahead of the rescheduled Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in October 2022.
Canada, ranked third in World Rugby’s rankings, were regular visitors to England prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. The two teams contested back-to-back games across a three-match series in 2017 with wing Jess Breach scoring six tries on her debut in a 79-5 win in the opener.
They last met on English soil at Doncaster Knights’ Castle Park in a well-contested 27-19 win for the Red Roses in November 2018.
Meanwhile, as part of the same series, England earned a comfortable victory over USA on the night fly half Katy Daley-Mclean earned her 100th cap at Allianz Park.
Both of Canada and USA’s current squads feature a number of Allianz Premier 15s stars including Exeter Chiefs’ American quartet Gabby Cantorna, Jennine Duncan, Rachel Johnson and Kate Zackary and Canada’s Mackenzie Carson, Alexandria Ellis (both Saracens) and Daleaka Menin (Loughborough Lightning).
England Women head coach Middleton said: “Any series of games where you get to pit yourselves against the top teams in the world is going to be great. We haven’t played any of these teams since the Super Series in 2019 and I thought the standard of rugby and the closeness of the games in that competition showed just how hugely competitive this series is likely to be. No team won all four games in that Super Series so 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.
“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.
“All matches will give each team a marker of where they are and where they need to go in terms of World Cup preparations which is hugely important and exciting for all.
“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.”
Match dates, kick-off times, venues, ticket and broadcast details are still to be confirmed and will be communicated in due course.
Supporters wishing to register their interest in securing tickets for the autumn fixtures can do so here.
*All fixtures subject to approval from World Rugby.
Courtesy of the RFU