Livestream: Coach Wayne Smith names Black Ferns squad for Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand

With less than a month before the Rugby World Cup for women kicks off at Auckland's Eden Park, champions New Zealand will reveal their squad to defend the trophy on home soil.

The announcement caps a dramatic 12 months that saw the Black Ferns schooled by England and France during their northern hemisphere tour late last year, and then undergo intense scrutiny over their onfield performance and off-field culture.

Ultimately, head coach Glenn Moore was reappointed to his role and then stood down, when it became untenable. Instead, former All Blacks coach Wayne Smith - known as 'The Professor' and acknowledged as one of the game's supreme strategists - was enlisted to lead the programme into the World Cup.

The NZ women have gone unbeaten in five matches this year - three against Australia, and one each against USA and Canada - with Smith trying to install an expansive style that will test the fitness of their opponents.

Veteran loose forward and captain Les Elder has lost her spot in the squad, with first-five Ruahei Demant and flanker Kennedy Simon leading the team during the recent Laurie O'Reilly Cup series against the Wallaroos.

Sevens specialists Ruby Tui, Theresa Fitzpatrick and Tyla Nathan-Wong have feature in the campaign, and will push for spots at the World Cup, while others from the Olympic gold-medal sevens programme - including captain Sarah Hirini - may also force their way into contention on Super Rugby Aupiki form.

Join us at 3pm Tuesday for our livestream of the squad announcement.

Catch the Rugby World Cup 2021 on Spark Sport and free-to-air on Three, or join us for live updates of the Black Ferns' title defnce