In a huge day for Women’s rugby in Australia, the Wallaroos will play a Two-Test series against New Zealand in October, including a Bledisloe curtain-raiser it was announced on Wednesday.
With just over a year until the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland, the Wallaroos will play a three-match tour of New Zealand in October in preparation for the Tests.
The Wallaroos will open their tour with a match against the Auckland XV before playing two matches against New Zealand’s Black Ferns with the one on Saturday October 22 become a double header to the third Bledisloe Test.
ARU high performance general manager Ben Whitaker said it would be a great challenge for the Wallaroos in the lead up to the World Cup.
“The Wallaroos will be truly tested on this tour with Two Tests against New Zealand,” he said.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our best XVs players to put their hands up for World Cup selection.
The Wallaroos have also secured Buildcorp as naming-rights partners of the team and upcoming Women’s National XV Championships.
It’s the first time in Australian Rugby history that the Wallaroos and Women’s National’s XVs have had a naming rights sponsor.
“By committing to hosting the Women’s National XVs Championship every year and with more Wallaroos camps, we are looking to build the strongest Australian squad possible for 2017,” Whitaker said.
Australian Women’s Sevens captain Sharni Williams said It was a major boost for women’s rugby in Australia.
“I started off playing fifteen-a-side rugby when it basically had no national profile at all. Now, with the Buildcorp Women’s National XVs Championships, girls can get out there and impress selectors and put themselves on a pathway towards representing their country in the Buildcorp Wallaroos team.”
“Playing New Zealand, in Sevens and XVs, is always a tough battle, but running out on the field at Eden Park will be amazing for all the women who get that opportunity.”
2016 Buildcorp Wallaroos Fixtures:
Wallaroos v Auckland XV- Tuesday 18 October
Wallaroos v Black Ferns- Saturday 22 October
Wallaroos v Black Ferns- Wednesday 26 October