The historic encounter will be played as a double header before the Blues host the Gallagher Chiefs in Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa at Eden Park on Saturday 1 May at 4.35pm.
The two Super clubs are excited to embark on the historic first Super Women’s game and, although it is a one-off match this season, both clubs are committed to developing a Super Women’s team and programme in the future.
“We are incredibly excited about this match. It is something both clubs have spoken about for some time now. We are really keen to develop a women’s programme for the future. We see this as a huge opportunity to kick-start that dream,” said Blues CEO, Andrew Hore.
“Women’s rugby in New Zealand is exceptionally strong and growing exponentially. We see Super Women’s Rugby as the next step and felt we should come together to provide this opportunity for all the females playing the game within our region,” said Chiefs Rugby Club CEO Michael Collins.
nib Blues Women assistant coach and IRB Hall of Famer, Anna Richards said: “This is super-exciting. It is the way forward and it is great to see the CEOs from the Blues and the Chiefs be so supportive and committed in pushing this game.
“Our game has progressed significantly for women in the last four years since that great World Cup in 2017. The girls are now contracted, and this is the next step forward. It is a natural progression and the women’s game is ready for it,” said Richards, New Zealand’s most capped Black Fern who played in four Rugby World Cups.
nib Blues and Black Ferns captain Eloise Blackwell said: “It is an exciting time for women’s rugby with New Zealand hosting the Rugby World Cup and as a potential pathway towards that level, to have a game between the two Super teams with quite a number of the Black Ferns players is exciting.
“Of course I am a Blues fan so to be able to be part of the first Blues women’s team is fantastic and I hope this is just the start towards a bigger future for women in the game.”
Waitomo Chiefs women’s player, current Black Fern Chelsea Alley said: “The Chiefs have been my favourite rugby team since I was a kid. There’s so much mana and pride in the Chiefs jersey, so to be able to pull one on and represent the franchise as part of the first ever Chiefs women’s team is so special and I’m buzzing about it!”
Waitomo Chiefs women’s assistant coach, former 2014 England Rugby World cup winner La Toya Mason said: “These are the moments in life that you think what an amazing opportunity for me, but the bigger picture is, this is going to change women’s rugby forever and the players have such a great opportunity ahead of them.”
“It adds a whole new dynamic to what New Zealand Rugby Union can offer up and coming kiwi women in the pro rugby scene. It also gives the young girls out there playing rugby more role models to see and more rugby opportunities to aspire to, said Mason the 70 capped England international who played in three Rugby World Cups and eight Six Nations campaigns.
Leading New Zealand health insurer, nib, are the proud naming sponsor of the nib Blues Super Women’s team, with the trusted international health partner already the jersey sponsor of the Blues Super men’s team.
“We actively support diversity and are genuine in our commitment to partner with female sport. We look forward to seeing a future where a Super Women's programme becomes a reality,” said nib CEO, Rob Hennin.
Waikato-based fuel company Waitomo Group will proudly sponsor the Chiefs Super Women’s team – the Waitomo Chiefs Women.
Waitomo Group Managing Director Jimmy Ormsby said, “Waitomo was introduced to women's rugby last season when we supported Waikato Rugby FPC team. What really impressed us was the quality of the players involved, their hard mahi and what was being achieved on the smell of an oily rag - heaps less than the men’s game.
“Being able to throw a bit of weight behind the Waitomo Wāhine Chiefs team to support this step-change into Super Rugby and the continued growth and recognition of the women’s game is really exciting for Waitomo. Go the Waitomo Chiefs Women!”