For the first time, this year the Wallaroos will receive Test match payments. (Facebook: Qantas Wallabies)
It is one of the biggest games on the rugby calendar in Australia.
Now the Wallaroos will get to share in the limelight with the Wallabies on Bledisloe Cup night when they play a double-header on August 18 at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium.
Wallaroos player Grace Hamilton said it was a huge boost for the sport.
“We’re getting more exposure now, so people will actually want to support us in the future,” she said.
“To be here, to have a home crowd and play on home soil — I’ve never played on home soil in the Wallaroos jersey, so it’ll be a massive moment for all of us.”
Wearing the Wallaroos jersey on home soil will be “a massive moment”, Hamilton said. (ABC News: Jennifer Browning)
That moment will be repeated a week later when the teams head to New Zealand to play at Eden Park.
Last year’s Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney was the lowest-attended match at the venue.
It is hoped putting on a high-quality women’s Test beforehand will help boost crowds this year.
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper said the women’s Test was by no means a “curtain-raiser”.
“I’ve always been a fan of there being a game before, and seeing how competitive and how much enjoyment the women get out their rugby and have that game so close with the men and women playing is outstanding,” he said.
Wallaroos to be paid for Test match for first time
For the first time, this year the Wallaroos will receive Test match payments and squad assembly fees to help offset the time taken away from work and family in order to represent their country.
Australian Women’s Rugby president Josephine Sukkar said it was a far cry from last year’s World Cup, when they played for free.
“We want to make sure that we cover the girls’ costs when they’re away and make that remuneration fair and equal, but right now there just isn’t enough money in rugby,” she said.
The Wallaroos have not played on home soil since 2008. In fact, the team has only ever played 50 tests together.
While two Tests is a boost for the women’s game, Ms Sukkar said it was just the beginning.
“Every time a visiting nation comes to play for the Wallabies, we want them to send us their women and then the women play as double-headers to the men — that’s nirvana,” she said.