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Canada to face New Zealand in first-round showdown at Women's Rugby World Cup

Canada learns Rugby World Cup schedule

Canada will open its Women's Rugby World Cup campaign against Asia qualifier Hong Kong and wrap up pool play against top-ranked New Zealand.

Canadian coach Francois Ratier already knew that his third-ranked Canadians were in Pool A with New Zealand, No. 23 Hong Kong and No. 10 Wales but was awaiting word from World Rugby on the first-round schedule of the 12 team tournament that runs Aug. 9-26 in Ireland.

Ratier will have few complaints with the schedule, given it allows his team time to ramp up in competition.

Only the three group winners and the best second-place finisher advance to the semifinals, meaning Canada's Aug. 17 showdown with the Black Ferns will likely determine the group winner.

Canada opens Aug. 9 against Hong Kong before taking on Wales on Aug. 13. All three of its pool games are in Dublin.

The Canadian women finished runner-up to England in the 2014 world 15s championship in France.






The Canadian Press