Australian women’s rugby has had a lot to shout about in rugby sevens in recent years with an Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016 and two World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series titles helping to raise the profile and interest in the sport.
Some of the stars of those campaigns have also crossed over into the 15s arena, where the Wallaroos are hoping to make just as big an impact on a rugby-hungry public starved of competitive action.
Like most teams, COVID-19 has stopped the Wallaroos in their tracks for the last 18 months, but welcome news has just come out from Rugby Australia of a two-test series against Samoa’s women’s team, Manusina, in July.
"For the first time in rugby's history, a new, revolutionary women's 15s calendar"— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) March 16, 2021
This is WXV! 🏉 pic.twitter.com/vGGeZmX4s9
The opening test will form the first half of a test match doubleheader at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, 17 July, when the Wallabies also face France in Brisbane.
Then, on Thursday, 22 July, the Wallaroos will travel to Sydney for the second test at Leichhardt Oval.
The two matches will serve as crucial preparation for Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand next year, after it was postponed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the Samoan team, who have yet to qualify, the matches provide vital game time together ahead of the final RWC 2021 Final Qualification Tournament later this year.
“It’s great to see our Buildcorp Wallaroos back on the field in preparation for the World Cup,” said Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos.
“Suncorp Stadium will be buzzing for the doubleheader. I know our players are desperate to go out there, put on a show and stake their own claim for World Cup selection. We will get a taste of the action next month with the Buildcorp Super W set for kick-off as well.”
Australia’s last taste of competitive action was in a Trans-Tasman series against New Zealand in August 2019, which the Black Ferns won 2-0, while Samoa have not taken to the field since they beat Tonga 40-0 in a RWC 2021 qualifier in November 2020.