The England v New Zealand Autumn Tests: 
What you need to know

These two matches, played October 31 and November 7, will see the top two teams in the world face each other for the first time in years.

England are currently ranked number one in the world, but New Zealand are ranked a close second, and are the defending World Cup Champions. New Zealand, who hope to defend their WC title in 2022, have not played a test match in two years due to Covid-19.

Read more from England's Amber Reed via the Guardian

England are on a 14-game winning streak, earning them their top of the table ranking. The last time they lost a match was in 2019... to the Black Ferns.

The global pandemic has impacted women's rugby across the globe, but the English Premiership continued play throughout 2020 and 2021.

Read more about the Black Ferns' 100th Test

NZ played a truncated Provincial Competition in 2020, and was able to play this years Farrah Palmer Cup, but did not see the same amount of domestic women's rugby played over the pandemic as England did. Coupled with the cancellation of their 2020 international tests schedule, the Black Ferns have not had tremendous access to game time throughout Covid.  

By comparison, the Red Roses have not only played on domestically in their top tier, but have had run outs in the 2021 Six Nations, as well as an exhibition match against France in April.

Read more from England's Sarah Hunter via the Guardian 

Additionally, both teams will participate in a ground-breaking head impact study using instrumented mouthguards to inform and advance injury-prevention initiatives in women’s rugby.

This autumn's clashes between the two will undoubtedly be competitive battles, and the first look for fans to get a preview of what very well could be the 2022 World Cup Final match up.

Read more about the Prevent Biometrics study via World Rugby

The New Zealand matches – along with the remaining Red Rose autumn internationals – will be broadcast on BBC. Follow our socials for information on how to tune in from outside the UK!

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