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Black Ferns to play two Tests against Australia

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allblacks.com     24 Apr 2018     Getty Images

The Laurie O’Reilly Memorial Trophy will be up for grabs when the Black Ferns play Australia in Sydney and Auckland on the same nights as the All Blacks take on Australia in their bid for the Bledisloe Cup. 

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New Zealand Rugby (NZR) Chief Executive Steve Tew said the Test matches will give rugby fans on both sides of the Tasman the opportunity to enjoy a couple of thrilling nights of rugby.

“We are very excited at the prospect of having both the Black Ferns and All Blacks in action against one of our closest rivals.  Having our two top sides take on the Aussies in the same night is something special and to be able to schedule double Test matches both home and away is a real bonus. 

“The popularity of the Black Ferns and women’s rugby has grown massively in the past couple of years and we’re sure Kiwi fans on both sides of the Tasman will take this opportunity to cheer on our World Champions. For the players it’s a chance for friends and family to watch them play at home too.”

The first double-header takes place at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on 18 August with a rematch the following week on Saturday 25 August, in Auckland.
New Zealand Rugby will announce its first-ever group of players to be contracted as Black Ferns under a new professional performance programme in the coming weeks ahead of the Black Ferns’ first training camp in mid-June.

The terms for the Black Ferns programme are set out in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and will see a minimum of 30 players employed by NZR on a Black Ferns contract with a guaranteed retainer, assembly fees and a range of other benefits. 

The Black Ferns Test November schedue is close to being finalsed and will be announced in due course. 

2018 Trans-Tasman double header Test matches

Laurie O’Reilly Memorial Trophy
Saturday, 18 August – Sydney
Black Ferns V Australia, ANZ Stadium
Kickoff: 5.30pm (NZT)

Bledisloe Cup
All Blacks v Australia, ANZ Stadium.
Kickoff – 10:05pm (NZT)

Laurie O’Reilly Memorial Trophy
Saturday, 25 August – Auckland
Black Ferns V Australia, Eden Park
Kickoff: 5pm (TBC)

Bledisloe Cup
All Blacks v Australia, Eden Park Auckland.
Kickoff:  7:35pm (NZT)

About Laurie O’Reilly Memorial Trophy
The Laurie O’Reilly Memorial Trophy is named in honour of the first Black Ferns Selector, Coach and stalwart of women’s rugby. In 1989 Laurie O’Reilly selected and coached New Zealand’s first first national female team which beat the visiting Pacific Coast Grizzlies.

The Black Ferns are current holders of the Laurie O’Reilly Memorial Trophy.

Laurie O’Reilly passed away in 1998.