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Women’s rugby giants set to go head to head

07 November 2011

  • RWC finalists to renew rivalries at Twickenham
  • Twickenham match kicks off three test series between England and NZ
England Women's flanker Maggie Alphonsi carries strongly against New Zealand in 2010

Photo: Getty Images

In just under three weeks the top two sides in global women’s rugby will go head to head with England taking on world champions New Zealand at Twickenham Stadium on November 26, kick off 5pm.

As well as sharing the billing with Australia and the all-star Barbarians line-up who are in action at 2:30pm, the clash will be the first meeting between the two rugby giants since the nail-biting Women’s Rugby World Cup Final in 2010.

That September New Zealand were crowned world champions for an unprecedented fourth time but only by the narrowest of margins with the Black Ferns taking a 13-10 victory at the Twickenham Stoop.

With old rivalries renewed on November 26, Head Coach Gary Street is expecting another great encounter.

Street said: "None of us will have forgotten the last time we played New Zealand, when we ran them so close in the final of the World Cup. This series is set to be a thriller and it is a massive autumn programme for both sides and I hope that all our fans will come out to support us.

"New Zealand are the number one team in the world and that is where we really want to be. This series gives us the opportunity to see where we are and hopefully to topple them off their perch in the short term."

England Women's wing Kat Merchant runs at the New Zealand defence in 2010

Photo: Getty Images

England head into the match – the first of three in this autumn test series between the two sides – as reigning Six Nations and Nations Cup champions while New Zealand have not played at international test match since the world cup final.

England look set to welcome back some big guns for the series with Margaret Alphonsi, Katy McLean, Becky Essex and Danielle Waterman all fit for selection.

England will also take on the Black Ferns on November 29 and December 3 at Esher RFC with the series representing the start of a new three-year agreement between the Rugby Football Union and the New Zealand Rugby Union.

England will host three tests in both the autumn of 2011 and 2012 before heading to New Zealand for three further tests in June 2013, just a year before the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup in France.

England Autumn International Series

Nov 26: England v New Zealand, Twickenham Stadium, KO 5pm

Nov 29: England v New Zealand, Esher RFC, KO 7pm

Dec 3: England v New Zealand, Esher RFC, 2pm

Tickets for the first match against New Zealand at Twickenham on November 26 are available via and group booking are available from the RFU by calling 0871 22 22 017, option 6. Prices range from £65 to £35. Junior tickets cost just £15.

Tickets for the international tests at Esher RFC on November 29 and December 3 will be available on the gate and cost £10 for adults and £5 for juniors.