There seems to always be a source of good rugby available. Super Rugby (NZ conference anyway), the Lions tour and the upcoming Rugby Championship and Mitre 10 Cup seasons to name a few.

However what is swept under the rug is the Women's Rugby World Cup in Ireland which has already been inundated with exciting action.

The Black Ferns are aiming for their fifth title with four Northlanders in tow: wing Portia Woodman, prop Aleisha Nelson, lock Charmaine Smith and inside back Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali.

Women's rugby has started to come more in to the public stratosphere since New Zealand picked up the silver medal in women's sevens at the Rio Olympics last August.


If you go by world tournaments won, the Black Ferns are our most successful international rugby side. Four to three at World Cups over the All Blacks. To be fair, it was four to one at the end of 2010.

New Zealand first competed at this level in 1991, making it a relatively modernised game.

Since they won their first title in 1998, the worst the Black Ferns have done was fifth in 2014 when, in a lot of ways unfortunately, there was more of an eye on the tournament.

They've beaten the current world champions England in multiple tests since that point.

It's an achievement not to be scoffed at. England's women are in a far better position to succeed than New Zealand's due to a number being on professional contracts.

More attention needs to be paid to the women's game. There was a 30 per cent increase in player numbers in New Zealand from 2012 to 2015, the highest player growth area in the game.

There is the opportunity for real stars to come out of the side in the likes of Woodman, whose try-scoring exploits are as commonplace as any male player.

And coverage of the side is improving. It isn't great, but it is on the rise.

There has been written coverage of the World Cup though you do have to search through all the other rugby news surrounding Jordie Barrett, bugging and the cult hero that is Stephen Donald.

It's also getting great coverage on Sky Sport, where the majority of matches are being shown. The time difference is a challenge but it is offering at least the nocturnal a look into the quality of women's rugby which is as rough and tough as anything.

But even still, it's not in the public vernacular. There's far more intrigue in how much Charles Piutau will earn in 2018/19 in England ($1.78 million per season reportedly!) than how our national women's team is going.

What do they need to do to interest the public? Win the tournament for a sixth time? Because even if they do they'll probably go relatively unrecognised for their efforts.