Rugby World Cup: Black Ferns v Australia at Eden Park - What you need to know

Black Ferns v Australia:

When: Saturday, October 8, 7:15pm kick off (NZ time)

Where: Eden Park, Auckland

Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron (South Africa)

Assistant referees: Sara Cox (England), Kat Roche (USA)

TMO: Ian Tempest (England)

TAB odds: Black Ferns $1.02, Australia $12


The Black Ferns will kick off their Rugby World Cup campaign on home soil against Australia in front of a historic sellout crowd at Auckland's Eden Park.

Despite being five-time champions and current trophy holders, it will be the first time New Zealand has ever staged the event.

Ruahei Demant.
Ruahei Demant. Photo credit: Photosport

With 40,000 tickets sold for the fixture, Saturday will become the largest-ever attended women's sporting event in New Zealand.

After a disastrous end-of-year Northern Tour in 2021, the Black Ferns are unbeaten in 2022, and go into the game against their trans-Tasman rivals as considerable favourites.

New Zealand boast a staggering 100 percent win record against Australia in their 22 meetings, and will fancy their chances to improve on that.

But they will have to do so without star co-captain Kennedy Simon, as she continues to nurse knee and calf injuries.

First-five Ruahei Demant will lead the side, with coach Wayne Smith springing a few selection surprises in the midfield and loose forwards.

Regular centre Amy du Plessis moves to second-five, and will partner former sevens star Stacey Fluhler.

Amy du Plessis.
Amy du Plessis. Photo credit: Getty Images

Charmaine McMenamin and Liana Mikaele-Tu'u have swapped roles in the backrow, with Sarah Hirini named at No.7 for the clash.

Meanwhile, Australia will be determined to put an end to their losing streak against the Black Ferns, with their most recent losses in the O'Reilly Cup and Pacific Four Nations.


Black Ferns: 1-Phillipa Love, 2-Luka Connor, 3-Amy Rule, 4-Joanah Ngan-Wood, 5-Chelsea Bremner, 6-Charmaine McMenamin, 7-Sarah Hirini, 8-Liana Mikaele-Tu'u, 9-Kendra Cocksedge, 10-Ruahei Demant, 11-Portia Woodman, 12-Amy du Plessis, 13-Stacey Fluhler, 14-Ruby Tui, 15-Renee Holmes 

Reserves: 16-Georgia Ponsonby, 17-Awhine Tangen-Wainohu, 18-Santo Taumata, 19-Maiakawanakaulani Roos, 20-Kendra Reynolds, 21-Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, 22-Hazel Tubic, 23-Logo-I-Pulotu Lemapu Atai'i Brunt

Australia: 1-Liz Patu, 2-Adiana Talakai, 3-Bridie O'Gorman, 4-Sera Naiqama, 5-Atasi Lafai, 6-Emily Chancellor, 7-Shannon Parry, 8-Grace Hamilton, 9-Iliseva Batibasaga, 10-Arabella McKenzie, 11-Ivania Wong, 12-Sharni Williams, 13-Georgina Friedrichs, 14-Bienne Terita, 15-Pauline Piliae-Rasabale

Reserves: 16-Ashley Marsters, 17-Emily Robinson, 18-Eva Karpani, 19-Michaela Leonard, 20-Grace Kemp, 21-Layne Morgan, 22-Trileen Pomare, 23-Lori Cramer

Recent history:

2022: Black Ferns 52 Australia 5 - Christchurch

2022: Black Ferns 22 Australia 14 - Adelaide

2022: Black Ferns 23 Australia 10 - Tauranga

2019: Black Ferns 47 Australia 10 - Perth

2019: Black Ferns 37 Australia 8 - Auckland

Weather forecast:

Cloudy periods with possible light showers. Northeasterlies developing in the morning.