irb.com and James Mortimer 13.Jul.2013Getty Images
Road to Rio
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset: “These are exciting times for Women’s Rugby and the IRB is committed to the ongoing development and growth of the sport worldwide in Fifteens and Sevens.”
“We are experiencing significant interest and participation in markets such as USA, Brazil, China, Netherlands and Colombia, while the Olympic opportunity has given us an unprecedented platform to showcase women’s team sport at its best.”
“We have certainly come a long way since that pioneering first test 31 years ago.”
“I would like to express my thanks to all those who have played their part in writing the first chapter in the Women’s Rugby story and look ahead with great anticipation to exciting times ahead as we count down to Women's Rugby World Cup 2014 and Rio 2016.”
Black Ferns captain Fiao’o Fa’amausili welcomed the 1000th Test match as an important milestone in women’s international Rugby.
“This is a fantastic achievement for the Women’s Game and for Rugby. We approach all our Test matches as important achievements, but to celebrate this milestone in our first Test match of 2013 and our opening match of the International Series against England, is truly special.
“The continuing growth of the Women’s Game around the world is encouraging, and I congratulate all those involved in developing the Game because this milestone celebrates their work.”
England Head Coach Gary Street added: "Given this special anniversary, I think it's fitting that the current top two sides in the world are playing in the 1000th match at one of the world's greatest Rugby grounds.”
“This Series will be a fantastic opportunity for the public to see the strength of women's rugby at this level, and I'm sure it will be a titanic battle. It will also give both England and the Black Ferns the chance to see where we both are 12 months out from Women’s Rugby World Cup in France."
The 1000th test match will be shown live on SKY New Zealand and SKY Sports in the UK and Ireland.