Canada women will get the chance to avenge their 21-9 defeat to England in the final of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 on home soil later this year after the venue and line-up for the 2015 International Women’s Rugby Super Series was announced.
Hosts Canada and reigning world champions England are joined by fellow top ranked teams New Zealand and USA in the quadrangular tournament which features double-header game days at three different venues in Alberta – Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton –on 27 June, 1 July and 5 July.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our women’s XVs programme as they continue to compete against the world’s best while looking to improve on their best ever World Cup finish in France last year,” said Graham Brown, Rugby Canada Chief Executive.
The tournament kicks off in Calgary at the Calgary Rugby Park on 27 June, with Canada facing the Black Ferns and the USA playing England.
Red Deer Rugby Park hosts the second round of matches between North American rivals Canada and USA on Canada Day (1 July) and New Zealand taking on England, a nation they beat in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Women's Rugby World Cup finals.
The final round, to take place on 5 July at Ellerslie Rugby Park in Edmonton, sees Canada up against England in a repeat of the WRWC 2014 title decider, while New Zealand re-enact their fifth place play-off against the USA Women's Eagles.
While the RBS Women’s 6 Nations has kept England busy since the turn of the year, the Super Series will give the Black Ferns their first taste of competitive action since losing their long-held world crown in August.
Series a significant step forward
New Zealand’s Head of Women’s Rugby Development, Cate Sexton, said the tournament provided a really positive step towards further building the level of competition in international women’s rugby and establishing top level events for players with the next World Cup only two years away.
“This tournament will showcase women’s rugby at its best and provide a platform of preparation for the next Women’s Rugby World Cup. Four of the top six teams in the world will be competing and it’s a great follow-up to the home series in New Zealand last year against Samoa, Australia and Canada,” said Sexton.
“We want to continue to strengthen our relationships with other countries and build a regular calendar of competition for the Black Ferns, which is a key priority of our plan for women’s rugby. This series is a significant step towards this.”
New Black Ferns head coach Greg Smith said the series would provide an opportunity to help unearth new talent as the team begins to rebuild following their disappointment in France last year.
“There’s a growing number of women playing rugby and an increasing number of opportunities to showcase talent at club and school level,” he said.
“I’m confident that we’ll have a good mix of new faces in the frame for selection supported by seasoned Black Ferns, all eager to make an impression in Canada against some quality opposition.”
Tickets to the Women’s Rugby Super Series are officially on sale and can be purchased at events.rugbycanada.ca.
Women’s Rugby Super Series schedule
27 June – Calgary Rugby Park
16:00 (MT): USA v England
18:30 (MT): Canada v New Zealand
1 July – Red Deer Rugby Club
16:00 (MT): New Zealand v England
18:30 (MT): Canada v USA
5 July – Edmonton, Ellerslie Rugby Park
16:00 (MT): New Zealand vs. USA
18:30 (MT): Canada vs. England