Eight Black Ferns Test matches in 2020 tremendous recognition

Eight Black Ferns Test matches in 2020 tremendous recognition
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 17: The Black Ferns sing the national anthem ahead of the Women's Test Match between the New Zealand Black Ferns and the Australian Wallaroos at Eden Park on August 17, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

In scheduling eight Black Ferns Test matches in 2020, New Zealand Rugby has given tremendous recognition to the women’s Rugby World Cup titleholders. A planned fixture list that showcases the team more within their country, than ever before.

The Black Ferns will play eight Test matches, including seven on home soil. This gives their fans around New Zealand more opportunities than ever to cheer on the women in black. Several double-header games will be supported by a schedule of more games around the country.

Confirmation of the further five Black Ferns Test matches including venues, locations and kick-off times will be announced in coming weeks.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has gone all out to not only give them the team the right type of build-up to the 2021 Rugby World Cup. However, they have earned that recognition as fulltime professionals. As the stars that they are. World Champions, and the marketing and promotion will tie into the countdown to RWC2021.

Eight Black Ferns Test matches in 2020 tremendous recognition

NZR Head of Women’s Rugby, Cate Sexton said the eight-match Black Ferns Test schedule was unprecedented for International women’s rugby in New Zealand, and gave them a taste of what to expect in 2021.

“This is an extra special year for local fans because in the past most Black Ferns Test matches have been played overseas.”

“We’ve seen a massive groundswell of support for the team from around New Zealand in recent times, and this year fans have more opportunities than ever before to cheer on the Black Ferns in person.”

Sexton said in an NZR media statement agreements for the other five Test matches were still being finalized. However, they would be standalone matches at venues around the country.

Black Ferns equal billing for Double-header

As the reigning World Champions, when paired in a scheduled match in New Zealand or Australia, the women have equal billing. Not that the All Blacks third-place at the 2019 RWC takes away from their aura. However, the Black Ferns test match could hold it’s own place as a pinnacle event.

The Maurie O’Reilly Trophy and the test against the United States in Dunedin will be celebrations of the women’s test match program. It is exciting to think of the further teams who will be invited to challenge New Zealand. This will act as a test run for the venues of the 2021 World Rugby event.

2021 Rugby World Cup schedule confirmed

When compared to other years, 2020 is the start of a new decade. A time when the Black Ferns test schedule is used to further the sport. As well as to promote women’s rugby and to demonstrate the increasing equity of the professional game.

More is to come, as well as some tremendous rugby played on the field. Kia Kaha.

With 18 months until Rugby World Cup 2021 the competition for black jersey selection was ramping up. Head coach Glenn Morre said “This is a crunch year for us. We need constant high-level competition to ensure the team is in top form for next year.

“An eight-Test match schedule, more regular training camps, and the added bonus of playing in front of family and friends is massive motivation for everyone. It’s shaping up to be a big year for everyone involved in the Black Ferns.”

The first Black Ferns Test squad for 2020 will be named closer to the first matches;

New Zealand v United States – July 18. Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

Laurie O’Reilly Cup (Including All Blacks v Wallabies)

NZ v Australia – August 8. Marvel Stadium, Melbourne

NZ v Australia – August 15. Sky Stadium, Wellington

 

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