Super W: Trans-Tasman matches the next frontier for women's XVs

Super W
by Sarah Friend

Two of Australia’s leading Super W stars say the next step for women’s XVs is to take provincial sides across the ditch, whether that be as part of an expanded competition or as annual tours.

This year’s Super W competition is one week longer than the inaugural iteration, with an extra round of finals, but it still means the nation’s leading XVs players have a long wait between provincial and Test rugby.

RugbyWA women’s captain Mhicca Carter said a women’s trans-Tasman competition, similarly to the men’s Super Rugby, would be “the dream” for the women, with the Kiwis setting the international playing standard.

The Super W  captains at the 2019 media launch. Photo: Walmsley“That would be incredible, that's the dream,” she said.

“New Zealand are the best in the world so we need to be up to speed with how they're developing and the progression of what they're doing.

“When you play against the best it's only going to beneficial for us, so ideally that would be amazing. There's hope for the future for that to come which is very exciting.”

While that trans-Tasman vision is unlikely to come to fruition in the short-term, Carter said even the chance for provincial sides to tour New Zealand would be a handy boost.

“For the sport to develop to the level that  we need it to for the Wallaroos to be where we want them to be, there's got to be more games, “ she said.

“Playing throughout the provincial areas of New Zealand would be incredible. I think we'd love to see more games, it's only going to grow us as a country.”

NSW women’s captain Ash Hewson, who last year retired from international rugby, has previously advocated for the inclusion of New Zealand teams into Super W and said on Tuesday a provincial tour would be a good start.

“I think there’s a really large disparity between the top four teams in the world, and the rest of the world,” she said. 

“For us to mix it with the best teams in the world which we’re more than capable of, skill wise, it’s about getting that exposure to those quality games and that quality rugby.

“To play provincial teams from New Zealand I think would be unbelievable.”

Hewson said any chance to play against quality teams would be valuable for state players and the Wallaroos but admitted the competition shouldn't rush to expand in length or teams.

Playing for a longer period of time against the best teams in the world, there’s only really one way it can go,” she said.

“It’s developing, we’ve got to be patient.

 “You don’t want to over kill it I guess. There’s a process I think the people running it are very aware of that.”

The 2019 Super W season kicks off on February 23 with the Brumbies and NSW women at GIO Stadium on 5pm AEDT.