Source: IMAGO/Andrew Cornaga

WXV 1 match schedule announced

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The world champion Black Ferns will play France during a blockbuster opening weekend of the inaugural WXV 1 tournament at Sky Stadium in Wellington as the world’s top six teams kick off a new era for international women’s rugby in New Zealand this October.

Women’s Six Nations champions England will play Australia in the opening match as WXV 1 kicks off in the Capital at 7:00pm on Friday 20 October, with a double header the following day as Canada play Wales at 4.00pm and the Black Ferns take on France at 7.00pm.

The Friday-Saturday format will repeat over three successive ‘weekends’ with nine Tests in total as WXV 1 moves south to Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on 27-28 October, before culminating at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart in Auckland on 3-4 November.

A year after lifting the Rugby World Cup, the Black Ferns will face three of the teams they beat on the way to the title in New Zealand with France first up in Wellington, Wales in Dunedin on Saturday 28 October, then England in a Rugby World Cup final rematch in Auckland on Saturday 4 November.

The full WXV 1 draw can be viewed here and WXV is explained in detail here

All nine Tests will be live and exclusive on Sky TV and fans can purchase tickets at Tickets will go on sale to the public at 10am on Tuesday 22 August with prices starting from $25 for adults and $10 for children. Weekend packages including all three matches at each venue will be available from $55 for adults and $15 for children.

New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson said the match schedule couldn’t be more exciting.

“It’s impossible not to immediately reflect on the memories of the Rugby World Cup and the thrilling matches we witnessed in 2022 and I’m sure fans and players will have the same feelings as they look over the match schedule for WXV 1.

“We can’t wait to welcome and host the visiting teams and to take world lass international rugby to fans across Aotearoa. We will be encouraging the singing, the chanting and the poi that created such a brilliant atmosphere during the Rugby World Cup last year. I have no doubt New Zealanders will be out in force supporting women’s sport during WXV 1, just as they have done so brilliantly during the FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

Black Ferns Director of Coaching Allan Bunting said the WXV would be an awesome challenge for the home team.  “WXV 1 will be an exciting tournament to be a part of. For us to play at home against the best in the world is great for women’s rugby. We have already seen since last year’s Rugby World Cup the game has continued to evolve and we have seen the growth in the teams during the qualification tournaments.

“It is a special event to have the top teams in the world once again back here in Aotearoa, and it’s an opportunity for us to test the depth in our squad. We are blessed to play at home in front of our whānau and fans and we are looking forward to being able to connect with them across Aotearoa throughout the tournament and inspire the next generation which is important to our team.”

Alongside the WXV 1 match schedule, World Rugby has also unveiled the full schedule and venues for WXV 2 and WXV 3, which will be played in South Africa and Dubai respectively.

World Rugby Chief of Women’s Rugby, Sally Horrox said: “WXV represents the start of a new era for women’s rugby with the three-level tournament model providing opportunities for the best athletes around the world to show their skills on the international stage. We’ve seen the rapid development of the women’s game in recent years and WXV will push it to another level again. We’re really proud of the exciting array of fixtures on offer and I’ve no doubt we are in for a thrilling competition with some exhilarating matchups on the pitch set to follow.

“A big thank you to all our hosts. We can’t wait to visit your countries and see the world’s best players compete in these fantastic venues and a huge congratulations to all the teams that have qualified. The stage is now set and we look forward to many memorable moments ahead across October and November.”

WXV 1 in brief

  • The tournament features three weekends of international rugby as the best of the Women’s Six Nations – England, France, and Wales – meets the best of the World Rugby Pacific Four Series, New Zealand, Canada and Australia.
  • Each tournament ‘weekend’ will feature one standalone Friday night Test, followed by a Saturday double-header at the same venue.
  • The three match venues will be Sky Stadium in Wellington, Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, and Go Media Stadium Mt Smart in Auckland.
  • The Rugby World Cup Champion Black Ferns will play France in Wellington, Wales in Dunedin, and England in Auckland.
  • Tickets available from $25 for adults and $10 for children and family friendly weekend packages from $55 for adults and $15 for children
WXV 1 match schedule
Date Kick-off Match Venue
Friday 20 Oct 7:00pm England v Australia Sky Stadium, Wellington
Saturday 21 Oct 4:00pm Canada v Wales Sky Stadium, Wellington
Saturday 21 Oct 7:00pm France v Black Ferns Sky Stadium, Wellington
Friday 27 Oct 7:00pm England v Canada Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Saturday 28 Oct 4:00pm Black Ferns v Wales Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Saturday 28 Oct 7:00pm France v Australia Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Friday 3 Nov 7:00pm Australia v Wales Go Media Stadium Mt Smart, Auckland
Saturday 4 Nov 4:00pm France v Canada Go Media Stadium Mt Smart, Auckland
Saturday 4 Nov 7:00pm Black Ferns v England Go Media Stadium Mt Smart, Auckland








With thanks to New Zealand Rugby