New Zealand and Australia’s women’s teams will not only be playing for local bragging rights over the next two weekends but also silverware, as the winner of the home-and-away series will be the proud owners of the O’Reilly Cup.

Who is the O’Reilly Cup named after?

The trophy is named in honour of Laurie O’Reilly, the first Black Ferns coach and late New Zealand lawyer who was a major advocate of the women’s game.

How long a history does it have?

This will be the 13th time the O’Reilly Cup will be contested. The teams first played for the trophy in 1994 when New Zealand won 37-0 in Sydney.

Who are the holders?

New Zealand. The Wallaroos have yet to beat the Black Ferns in 20 previous attempts, inside and outside of this competition, so the trophy has always remained in New Zealand’s possession.

The Black Ferns have scored 491 points in the 17 fixtures to date while Australia have managed 277.

When was it last contested?

It was last contested in 2019 – when known as the Laurie O’Reilly Memorial Trophy – with New Zealand running out 47-10 and 37-8 winners in the two matches.

Have they already played each other this year?

Yes, in the Pacific Four Series. But New Zealand’s 23-10 win in Tauranga did not count towards this competition.

When and where are this year’s fixtures?

Holders New Zealand are at home in the first leg, which is to be played at the Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch on 20 August. Australia host the second leg at the Adelaide Oval on 27 August.

The second match forms part of a doubleheader with the men’s Rugby Championship encounter between the same two countries.

Who will referee it?

Maggie Cogger-Orr takes charge of her sixth test of 2022 this weekend. It is the first time she will have refereed the Black Ferns. Amber McLachlan will be in the middle for the second encounter.

Does the O’Reilly Cup have any wider significance?

As they are in the same pool at Rugby World Cup 2021, yes it does. Tournament hosts New Zealand will face Australia on the opening night at Eden Park in Auckland on 8 October.

These back-to-back matches will also count towards the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini. New Zealand are currently ranked at number two in the world, on 89.57 points, while Australia are 13.89 points further back in eighth.

Australia will jump three places to fifth and equal their highest-ever ranking if they record a maiden test victory over New Zealand 

The Black Ferns cannot catch the world’s number one team England in victory, and will fall one place to third in defeat, dropping outside the top two for the first time since the rankings were introduced in February 2016.

A new low of fourth is possible if they lose by more than 15 points.