The Blues and Chiefs have announced a historic Super Rugby fixture for next month; the first-ever women's match between the two Super Rugby franchises.
The Auckland and Waikato clubs announced this morning the game will be played as a double header before the Blues men host the Chiefs in their Super Rugby Aotearoa clash at Eden Park on May 1.
The match is a one-off but both franchises say they’re looking at it as a first step as they're 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,” Blues CEO Andrew Hore said.
“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."
Chiefs chief executive Michael Collins added he believes the match is the first step towards a full women's Super Rugby competition.
"Women's rugby in New Zealand is exceptionally strong and growing exponentially,” Collins said.
“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."
Black Ferns captain Eloise Blackwell, who will captain the Blues, said the game will also be a great chance for some of New Zealand’s best to get back on the pitch with many needing game time before next year's defence of their World Cup title on home soil.
"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," Blackwell said.
"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."
Squads will be announced at a later date.