Match venues for Black Ferns November series confirmed

North Harbour, Waitakere and Nelson will play hosts to the top female players in New Zealand as they vie for a place in the Black Ferns squad in three matches next month.

The three-match schedule which includes a Possibles versus Probables presented by Steinlager match on Saturday 7 November, and Black Ferns versus New Zealand Barbarians presented by Downer on Saturday 14 November and Saturday 21 November, replaces the scheduled 2021 Test Series following COVID-19 restrictions.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) CEO Mark Robinson said the opportunity for fans to see New Zealand’s best female players back in black was an exciting prospect.

“We have been treated to an outstanding provincial competition which has captured the excitement of the women’s game and this series will give the best of the best an opportunity to vie for higher honours. Selection for Rugby World Cup 2021 is no doubt on all the players’ minds.

“Hosting matches in three different venues gives fans in different parts of New Zealand, the chance to see Black Ferns and potential Black Ferns, and it’s great to be able to take the team to Nelson for the first time.”

All three matches will be broadcast on SKY Sport.

FPC coaches named to support Possibles, Probables and NZ Barbarians

The coaching staff for the three matches have been appointed.


Head Coach: Chad Shepherd (Counties Manukau Heat)

Assistant Coaches: Anna Richards (Auckland Storm) and Scott Manson (Otago Spirit)


Head Coach: Rodney Gibbs (Bay of Plenty Volcanix)

Assistant Coaches: Melissa Ruscoe (Canterbury) and Willie Walker (North Harbour Hibiscus)

New Zealand Barbarians

Head Coach: Rodney Gibbs (Bay of Plenty Volcanix)

Assistant Coaches: Chad Shepherd (Counties Manukau Heat) and Whitney Hansen (Canterbury)

NZR’s Head of Women’s Rugby Cate Sexton said the series was an opportunity for FPC coaches to gain further experience.

“The coaching staff will gain more exposure to the Black Ferns environment and, while these matches are focussed on developing our highest level of female players, it’s also about developing our coaches. It’s vital, as our player numbers grow, we have the coaches to support and develop our athletes.”

Black Ferns November schedule

Saturday, 7 November

Possibles v Probables presented by Steinlager

North Harbour Stadium, North Shore

Kick-off: 2.05pm

Saturday, 14 November

Black Ferns v New Zealand Barbarians presented by Downer

Waitakere Trust Stadium, Auckland

Kick-off: 4.35pm

NB: this match is part of a women’s rugby triple header match day which includes NZ Defence Force v NZ Police (11.35am), and a RWC 2021 qualification match between Samoa v Tonga (2.05pm).

Saturday, 21 November

Black Ferns v New Zealand Barbarians presented by Downer

Trafalgar Park, Nelson

Kick-off: 4.35pm