The St.George Queensland Reds will begin their Buildcorp Super W campaign with a trial match against the Fijian National Women’s XV, the Fijiana, on Sunday 16 February at Ballymore, before their first Super W match in Round 2 of the competition against the Rugby WA Women in Perth.
The match will form part of a two-match-tour of Australia for the Fijiana, that will see them play both the Reds and NSW Waratahs Women, and assist Fiji’s preparation for the 2021 Rugby World Cup whilst allowing Queensland and NSW to continue their Super W preparation on their respective bye weekends.
The Fijiana qualified for the first time ever to the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand following the Oceania Rugby Women’s XVs Championship held last year.
The tour, funded by the PacificAus Sports within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will see Fiji travel to Australia in February, playing the Queensland Reds at Ballymore before the team heads south to take on the NSW Waratahs in Sydney.
Rugby Australia and PacificAus Sports will host the touring Fijians at Rugby Australia HQ for a breakfast before the final match of the tour.
Rugby Australia Head of Women’s Rugby, Jilly Collins said: “This is a great opportunity for Rugby Australia and Fiji Rugby to expand our already close relationship with Fiji’s tour.
“Women’s Sport in Fiji continues to grow, and it is tours like this that will assist the development of Fiji’s national players and expand the friendships between our teams.
“The Fijiana have a fantastic opportunity to continue to strengthen their ability as players heading into the Rugby World Cup in our region and inspire a whole new generation of young women and girls to play Rugby and be physically active.
“On behalf of Rugby Australia I’d like to extend our welcome to the Fijiana and thank DFAT for their support of the tour and for enhancing the relationship between our two countries.”
Fiji Rugby Women’s Development Manager Vela Naucikidi said the Fijiana were extremely grateful for the support of Rugby Australia and DFAT.
“On behalf of Fiji Rugby we wish to thank Rugby Australia and DFAT for their generous support of the Fijiana through hosting this tour.
“Being able to travel and play such high-quality opposition is invaluable experience for the team as they prepare towards the 2021 Rugby World Cup. Fiji Rugby now have a structured competition for Women’s rugby that has provided the platform for our young girls to showcase their talent and vie for a Women’s RWC spot for 2021.
“This tour will really expose our girls to a higher level of competition that is needed to prepare us well for 2021.
“We enjoyed touring to Australia in 2018 and playing the Brumbies and Waratahs women and look forward to the challenge of meeting the two Super W teams next month.”