Rugby: Kendra Cocksedge hails New Zealand hosting cricket, rugby and football World Cups to inspire next generation

With one women's World Cup down, and another two to come, Black Ferns halfback Kendra Cocksedge is hoping to see Kiwis get behind New Zealand's defence of their crown later this year.

After the Women's Cricket World Cup was hosted by Aotearoa earlier this year, New Zealand will also host the Women's Rugby World Cup from October, before next year also co-hosting the Women's Football World Cup - arguably the biggest sporting event ever held in this country.

The trio of pinnacle events have been hailed as a groundbreaking period in women's sport for Kiwis, giving a generation the chance to witness three World Cups on home soil.

The Women's Rugby World Cup begins in October.
The Women's Rugby World Cup begins in October. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

For Black Ferns stalwart Cocksedge, the chance to defend their World Cup crown won back in 2017 is only part of the equation, hailing the significance of the three tournaments.

"It's been really exciting for women's sport," said Cocksedge. "With the Cricket World Cup, Rugby World Cup and Football World Cup next year, young ones coming through can be inspired.

"You can't be it if you can't see it. What's really cool is being role models for the young ones coming through.

"Having three sports that are pretty pinnacle - cricket, rugby and football - is massive for us. We just want the crowd to get around us, and the community to get around all that

"The Cricket World Cup showed really good examples of that, they got a really good crowd around them.

"I guess we're coming in second with ours, then football. Hopefully everyone gets around it and supports it."

The Black Ferns will hope to add a sixth World Cup title to their collection later this year, when the tournament begins in October.

The Black Ferns celebrate during the Pacific Four series.
The Black Ferns celebrate during the Pacific Four series. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

But the team's build up to their own tournament has been hampered, after coach Glenn Moore resigned earlier this year.

In his place, former All Blacks guru Wayne Smith has signed on as director of rugby, tasked with guiding the Black Ferns to the World Cup.

Smith's impact can be seen already, after the Black Ferns went undefeated to win the Pacific Four series, defeating Australia, USA and Canada.

Next, the Black Ferns will face Australia again in the O'Reilly Cup, starting on Saturday in Christchurch.

And despite the upheaval, Cocksedge is confident in the side's progression towards their title defence.

"I think we're in a really good place," Cocksedge added. "There's still a lot of girls to come back.

"We've just had the sevens girls join us, we've got a young talented side coming through, and a lot of energy around it.

"The way that Smithy and the coaches want to play, we've got a lot of girls that are open minded and learning lots. 

"We're just starting to put that together and we saw little bits of that during the PacFour.

"We want to step that up another level in the next two games, and then just keep stepping up, and leading into World Cup, step up again."

Join Newshub for live updates of the Black Ferns v Australia from 7pm Saturday.