Black Ferns to play Bledisloe curtain raiser against Australian Wallaroos
• Black Ferns 2016 Test schedule announced
• Fans treated to two home Tests
• Build up to 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup begins
The New Zealand Black Ferns will play the curtain raiser against the Australian Wallaroos before the Bledisloe Cup Test in Auckland, ahead of their end of year tour to the United Kingdom.
Black Ferns fans can watch them take on Australia on 22 October at Eden Park and again on 26 October at QBE Stadium on the North Shore. The matches feature in the Black Ferns’ 2016 international programme announced today.
The end of year tour sees the national women’s side take on Canada, Ireland and England in the United Kingdom in November.
Black Ferns Coach Glenn Moore said the five Test matches are an important part of the build up to the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland in August 2017.
“This is a very big year for the Black Ferns and we’re really excited about the programme. Last year there were 12 new caps in the side we took to Canada and they proved themselves on a world stage. This year we’ll be looking to build on our success and begin our preparation for the World Cup.
“We’ve been running a training, and strength and conditioning programme for more than 50 players since the beginning of the year and the players have been working really hard. We’re looking at the pool of players now and the Farah Palmer Cup will be vital for helping finalise our squad.”
Moore said the confirmation of a five-Test programme demonstrated New Zealand Rugby’s commitment to women’s rugby and the Black Ferns.
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) Chief Executive Steve Tew said women’s rugby was a priority for the organisation and welcomed the opportunity to showcase the country’s top players on the international stage.
“This year’s international programme also gives the team a chance to play in front of their New Zealand fans, family and friends. The match against the Wallaroos at Eden Park will make for an exciting double header of Trans-Tasman rugby.”
Auckland Storm will play the Australian Wallaroos in a warm-up match for the Australian side on 18 October in Auckland (venue to be confirmed).
New Zealand Black Ferns 2016 Match Schedule (kick off times TBC)
Saturday, 22 October New Zealand Black Ferns v Australian Wallaroos, Eden Park, Auckland
Wednesday, 26 October New Zealand Black Ferns v Australian Wallaroos, QBE Stadium, North Shore
End of Year Tour
Saturday, 19 November New Zealand Black Ferns v England, The Stoop Twickenham, London
Wednesday, 23 November New Zealand Black Ferns v Canada, Doonybrook Stadium, Dublin
Sunday, 27 November New Zealand Black Ferns v Ireland, The Bowl, UND, Dublin