(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The City of Ottawa and TD Place will host Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the USA this July in the 2023 Pacific Four Series in partnership with Mastercard, a cross-regional international women’s rugby tournament.
This will be the first major international women’s rugby series hosted in Canada in eight years, the last instance being the 2015 Women’s Rugby Super Series, which featured Canada, New Zealand, the USA and England.
On Saturday July 8, Canada will face the reigning, six-time World Champion New Zealand Black Ferns. Friday July 14 will see Canada face Australia. The USA will also play New Zealand and Australia.
“We are excited to see our excellent Canadian National Team take on the best in the world in front of a home crowd. Our women made Canada so proud at the Rugby World Cup, getting so close to reaching the final,” said Nathan Bombrys, Rugby Canada, CEO. “We are pleased to be able to bring another international rugby event to the province of Ontario and Canada’s capital. We will also be leaving a legacy of rugby across the city - delivering rugby coaching sessions to 5,000 children and donating 3,000 rugby balls to Ottawa schools this summer. TD Place is a great stadium for international rugby, and we will be aiming to pack it with thousands of Canadians to get behind our team and celebrate the women who represent Canada. We can’t wait to see what our team can do against the World Champions in July.”
Canada’s Women’s Rugby Team, currently ranked fourth in the world following a fourth-place performance at the 2021 Rugby World Cup (which was played in fall 2022), played the USA in the first match of the Pacific Four Series on April 1, winning 50-17. Qualification for the inaugural WXV, a new three-tier annual global women’s international 15s competition, is on the line. In partnership with Mastercard, the 2023 Pacific Four Series competition will see the top three teams qualify for the top WXV tier, with the bottom team headed for tier 2. Canada’s Women’s Rugby Team have their hopes set on an historic finish at the 2025 Rugby World Cup, and this tournament marks a significant first step on their road to becoming the next World Cup champions.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to play against New Zealand and Australia on home soil in Ottawa this July,” said Canada’s Women’s Rugby Team Head Coach, Kevin Rouet. “As a team, we have enjoyed some recent success with our win over the USA in Spain earlier this month and look forward to the chance to test ourselves against two of the best teams in the world. This program has a bright future and these games in Ottawa represent a significant step forward as we begin our journey to the 2025 Rugby World Cup. These games offer a fantastic opportunity to show case our sport to all the women and girls in the country. Myself and all the players can’t wait to show Canadians what this team can do.”
The next generation of women’s rugby players will be centre stage in Ottawa with Canada’s U20 Women’s Rugby Team and the U18 Canada East Team playing matches throughout the week culminating with Canada’s U20 Women’s Rugby Team playing the England U20 Team as the curtain raiser to the July 8 double header at TD Place.
In the days leading up to the Pacific Four Series, Rugby Canada will run a series of community events to introduce children in Ottawa and surrounding communities to rugby in a free, fun, low-barrier setting. 5,000 children in the Ottawa region will receive rugby coaching through Rugby Canada’s ‘Get Into Rugby’ program, and Rugby Canada will be donating 3,000 rugby balls to local schools to ensure the game can be played by many more and leave a long-standing legacy in the community
“On behalf of the Ontario government, I am honoured to be welcoming athletes, coaches, families and spectators to our province this summer for the 2023 Pacific Four Series,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “We are proud to host premier sport events that showcase Ontario as a destination of choice and boost local and regional economies. With support from the Ontario Sport Hosting Program, events like this help us build a culture in our province that values sport and contributes to the development of our talented athletes.”
“I am thrilled that Ottawa will host the 2023 Pacific Four Series international women’s rugby tournament,” said Mayor of Ottawa, Mark Sutcliffe. “This top-tier sporting event will not only put on display some of the best in women’s rugby but will also showcase our beautiful city to visitors from around the world. I want to thank all our partners for their work in bringing this tournament to Ottawa. I am confident that it will leave an important legacy, inspiring new rugby players in our community and highlighting Ottawa as a premier destination for major sporting events.”
Together, these events in Ottawa will represent more than just a rugby match. Rugby Canada will not only give rugby fans the chance to watch Canada’s Women’s Rugby Team begin their push for the podium in 2025, but the opportunity to cheer on the next generation of rugby players and celebrate women in sport as they continue to break down barriers at the national and international level.
Canada's matches will be broadcasted live across Canada, and worldwide, with broadcast details to follow. Tickets on sale April 27, 2023. Go to rugby.ca for all the latest information.
JULY 8 USA vs Australia Canada vs New Zealand
JULY 14 USA vs New Zealand Canada vs Australia
For media inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/9089764c-8c6f-4cea-8b13-6a3da56e1189