Sunday, May 26, 2024

Women’s rugby test hat-trick for Wellington, Dunedin, Auckland

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has confirmed Wellington, Dunedin and Auckland will host three block buster match-weekends for the inaugural WXV 1 tournament.

The world’s top six international women’s rugby teams will play nine Tests during the tournament from 20 October to 4 November, with each match weekend venue hosting a standalone Friday night Test followed by a Saturday double-header.

Three Tests in Dunedin will feature England, France, and Wales, who will be joined by the top three sides from the Pacific Four Series, which will be contested in July between reigning World Cup champions the Black Ferns, Australia, USA, and Canada.

Mayor of Dunedin, Jules Radich says the tournament will cap off an action-packed calendar of international sport in the city, on the back of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ from late July and the Bledisloe Cup test between the All Blacks and Australia on August 5.

“The Black Ferns’ performance at last year’s Rugby World Cup was electric and inspiring. Dunedin locals and visitors to the city will relish the opportunity to see the world’s best players and their rugby heroines up close,” the Mayor said.

“Our fully enclosed Forsyth Barr Stadium is unrivalled in New Zealand. It offers a playing surface conducive to open, running rugby and helps create an atmosphere second to none.

“Furthermore, the whole city comes alive when international sport comes to town. We look forward to welcoming all the teams and putting on the warm, southern hospitality we’re renowned for,” Mr Radich says.

Dunedin Venues CEO, Terry Davies says Forsyth Barr Stadium is the ideal venue for the tournament.

“It will be terrific to be part of the inaugural WXV 1 tournament and a fantastic opportunity for southern fans to witness another quality international rugby competition under the roof.

“We are honoured to be part of World Rugby’s strategy to grow the game,” Mr Davies says.

WXV 1 will kick-off at Sky Stadium in New Zealand’s Capital city Wellington (20-21 October) before moving to Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium (27-28 October), then on to Auckland where the tournament winner will likely be decided at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart (3-4 November).

Former Black Ferns Captain and New Zealand Rugby (NZR) Board Deputy Chair Dame Farah Palmer said: “Fans across the world are going to be watching WXV 1 and watching Aotearoa and it’s an absolute privilege to have talented wāhine from the top six teams in the world playing across our country. Last year’s Rugby World Cup gave New Zealanders a taste of how thrilling and exciting the women’s game is, and now we have the chance to showcase these world class athletes across our country.”

“We hope to see fans re-ignite the passion they showed for rugby and women’s sport during the Rugby World Cup and to re-create the unique and exciting atmosphere that captured the imagination of the rugby world.

“It is a huge year for our Black Ferns with the O’Reilly Cup and Pacific Four Series, and the massive goal of qualifying for the inaugural WXV 1 Tournament, which would allow them to return home to play in front of their whanau and fans on home soil,” she said.

Rugby fans will be able to register their interest in tickets in advance to ensure they are first in line to secure seats once the final match schedule has been confirmed. Fans can sign up for more info on ticket releases and news on WXV 1 here

WXV 1 Schedule:

  • 20-21 October: Sky Stadium, Wellington
  • 27-28 October: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
  • 3-4 November: Go Media Stadium Mt Smart, Auckland.

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