Topics: Rereātea - Midday News, Rugby, Rugby League

Wāhine in rugby celebrated this week

By Jessica Tyson

Provincial Rugby Unions will mark the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage with a Wāhine Round this week.

The round will celebrate the roles of wāhine in rugby including players, coaches, referees, fans and volunteers.

NZR Chief Rugby Officer Nigel Cass says the round is rugby's way of joining the national celebration.

"As our national game, rugby is proud to join the celebrations for the 125 year anniversary of women's suffrage.  We're encouraging fans to head out to matches to support their Mitre 10 and Farah Palmer Cup teams, wear something purple and enjoy the action."

Five double-header matches have been scheduled, with four of them to be shown live on Sky TV.

At the matches, referees will wear purple uniforms to acknowledge the official colour of women's suffrage.

Cass says the theme provides rugby with the opportunity to look at future progress in the women's game and take stock of the progress that has been made.

"On the field, women are leading the growth of the game and there are more on-field opportunities than ever before for women and girls to play, coach and referee.

"Off the field New Zealand Rugby, Provincial Unions and clubs are working on providing women more opportunities to become involved in administrative roles, including key leadership positions and developing more inclusive, welcoming and diverse environments."

The round will kick off on Wednesday, the official date of Women's Suffrage Day, when Manawatu host Tasman in Palmerston North in the Mitre 10 Cup.