Rugby Australia says it was simply following stadium rules when the Black Ferns and Wallaroos were barred from warming up on the main arena before Saturday night's test in Sydney.

ANZ Stadium policy does not allow teams involved in any curtain-raiser to warm up on the playing area, rugby.com.au reported.

NZ Herald columnist Gregor Paul sparked another trans-Tasman rugby row, his column this week arguing that Australia was not fit to host the 2021 women's World Cup "when they couldn't appropriately host a single Test match".

"It will be hard, nearly impossible now, for RA to convince anyone that they have the best interests of the women's game at heart," Paul wrote, after witnessing the apparent slight when the women's test sides prepared on a "netball court".

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Captain Fiao'o Faamausili leads the Black Ferns out in Sydney. Photo / Photosport
Captain Fiao'o Faamausili leads the Black Ferns out in Sydney. Photo / Photosport

New Zealand and Australia are contesting the 2021 World Cup hosting rights, and RA performance general manager Ben Whitaker was adamant Australia treated the women's game with respect.

"Maybe it's a bit of Bledisloe Cup rivalry for hosting tournaments as well as on-field," he said.

"Maybe there's any little angle that they can use to show that.

"I think if anyone was out there watching that game and saw how it was presented...if anyone's suggesting we're not serious about playing XV-a-side rugby for women or hosting a World Cup well they're probably seeing something that we're not."

Whitaker admitted there were compromises for a doubleheader but the teams were not affected.

"To run a game at an 80,000 seat stadium at ANZ it's an amazing thrill, it's what we should do for our women," he said.

Rugby.com.au said both teams were offered the nearby league headquarters which is used by the NRL, including on Grand Final day. The women's rugby teams chose to use the stadium's recently-built $2m outdoor training facility instead.