Rugby: Black Ferns wary of tough test France will bring

The Black Ferns are about to face off against France for the first time in more than eight years.

It's expected to be a fierce battle in Toulon, with the French fronting a formidable forward pack.

The world champions are in good spirits but are by no means complacent.

Saturday morning's clash will be only the fifth time the Ferns and France have met - skipper Fiao'o Faiamausili is preparing for a battle of the packs

"They're going to bring it and we're going to bring it just as much" she said.

"We love the hard work up front and not just myself but all our forwards are looking forward to it"

Coach Glenn Moore has a bench ready to strike with an unconventional mix of six forwards and two backs - thanks to the versatility of debutant Marcelle Parkes

"They're a big pack, a physical pack, got good loose forwards but they've also got some talent in the backs" he said.

"We've put her [Parkes] there primarily as a forward but she's played a lot of her rugby on the wing."

She's one of the Black Ferns’ new generation as they enter the next World Cup cycle:

"Some girls are running out for their first test match at an awesome stadium so we're excited for them." Faiamausili said.

"We're expecting a big crowd in and we're expecting to be really noisy. " Moore said.

Toulon's been the home of countless All Blacks like Tana Umanga and Sonny Bill Williams and now it's the Black Ferns' turn to make their mark for NZ in this rugby-mad town.


Join us at 9am (NZT) for live updates of the Black Ferns vs France match from Toulon.