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Are the Black Ferns on the verge of ripping up World Cup playbook?

History can be dismissed like statistics, but it often provides a handy reference as to what is required to win a Rugby World Cup, in most cases a combination of forward play and experience have been perhaps the most important factors.

This has been the case in both male and female competitions, in the men’s Rugby World Cup, experience so far has been a strict non-negotiable for title success.

In 2010, Black Ferns coach Brian Evans, on board for another campaign this year, named a vastly experienced squad where Monalisa Codling would go on to win her fourth straight global crown – while Amiria Rule, Fiao’o Fa’amausili, Victoria Heighway, Emma Jenson and Casey Robertson claimed their third.

Three of those players, now captain Fa’amausili, Rule and Jenson, will be striving to match the efforts of Codling in becoming one of the few players in any sport to have won four World Cups.

They were named in the squad recently by Evans, part of another group littered with rugby hardness.



The Ferns have played with what could be considered a slightly less adventurous template than the All Blacks over the decades, but the four-time Women's champions have a claim to greater consistency and a polished grasp of the basics than the lads.

One only needs to see the team training to see how core principles are applied, the side neglects bells and whistles, even if they adhere to the most advanced recovery and resting routines.



Like the Women’s Sevens team and their famous photo where they trained indoors in hotel room corridors, the Black Ferns have been out dragging immense bags of rocks along a beach or stretching scrum harnesses to frightening lengths - these ladies are not impressed with fancy gym equipment, even if they like their fancy training shoes!



This training fits the World Cup template, strong and frontal rugby, but this will be some illusion come kick off this Friday in Marcoussis, technically part of Greater Paris.

The likes of Selica Winiata, Linda Itunu and Sevens skipper Huriana Manuel shows the attention and growth the abbreviated version of the game has witnessed over the last couple of years, so including such Sevens maestros is an easy fit.

Nearly fifty players with recent Women’s Sevens Series experience will across all the teams play in the World Cup.

Set piece rugby and relentless kicking, important aspects during the 2010 edition in England, will likely give way to running rugby thanks to the presence of so many striding weapons and the likelihood is that the fields of Southern Paris will be firmer than they were across the Channel four year's ago.



The Ferns, given a stellar introduction to the year thanks to hosting Samoa, Canada and Australia, have had Test matches in 2014 and will be far more battle hardened than they have been in comparison to previous tournaments.

But the desire to play expansive rugby and bring the Sevens element into their play was obvious as New Zealand used Kelly Brazier to bring a stylish backline into action over the last two months.

Canada showed how competitive they can be, but the threat of the South African Women and the European Superpowers in their own backyard will present a higher challenge.

England has been one of the New Zealanders greatest threats but France took the 2014 Women’s Six Nations – their 18-6 win over the English in Grenoble was arguably the most notable broadside from the North heading into this crucial year.

The Ferns are in Pool B with USA, Kazakhstan and Ireland.

For the full match schedule, click here!

Don’t forget the Black Ferns have their own news section and their own Facebook page.

2014 BLACK FERNS so far...

01 Jun
Black Ferns v Australia
Rotorua
38-3

07 Jun
Black Ferns v Samoa
Auckland
90-12

10 Jun
Black Ferns v Canada
Tauranga
16-8

14 Jun
Black Ferns v Canada
Whakatane
33-21



BLACK FERNS #WRWC2014 pool play...

(please note matches will be LIVE scored on twitter.com/abslivescore where available)

Friday 1 August, 1pm (11pm NZT)
NZ v Kazakhstan
NZ Broadcast: LIVE 10.50pm SKY Sport 1
Replay 2 August, 12pm Rugby Channel

Tuesday 5 August, 6pm (4am NZT Wedneday 6 August)
NZ v Ireland
NZ Broadcast: LIVE 3.50am 6 August, SKY Sport 1
Replay 6am 6 August, SKY Sport 2

Saturday 9 August, 6pm (4am NZT Sunday 9 August)
NZ v USA
NZ Broadcast: LIVE 3.50am 10 August, SKY Sport 1,
Replay 6am 10 August, SKY Sport 3