A women's Super Rugby competition could be in place as early as next year.
Yesterday it was announced that the Blues and Chiefs will play-out an historic match at Eden Park on Saturday, May 1.
It continues the quick progression of the women's game both here and globally. Earlier this month, World Rugby announced plans for a 16-team international competition to help unify the calendar and raise competition.
Albeit delayed, the women's Rugby World Cup is also set to take place in New Zealand in 2022.
New Zealand Rugby's head of women's rugby Cate Sexton said yesterday that if she has her way, the Blues-Chiefs match will be more than just a one-off fixture.
"We are currently having conversations, our board are very supportive of a semi-professional competition being launched in the near future."
When asked by Newstalk ZB whether that could be confirmed for the 2022 season, Sexton replied, "Absolutely. That's my plan.
"It makes sense and we're really looking forward to it. It's a really cool opportunity to reinvent and reimagine what rugby looks like. A really collaborative approach without provincial unions and our Super clubs to really enhance that professional era for our women and just an aspirational pathway for our players, our coaches and our managers. It just makes sense."
The Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders involvements, on the field at least, will be restricted in 2021.
Sexton said the current calendar means it's more than likely that the Blues-Chiefs game will be the only one this year.
"I just can't see that [other teams playing] happening. Just with the Black Ferns schedule and if we want the best players playing in competitions, there's not a lot more window – particularly with club rugby starting and then the players building into the Farah Palmer Cup before they go into, ideally, an international series that we're trying to secure now with the
World Cup postponed. So certainly there's an intent and conversations being had with other Super clubs as well."
As much as she'd love to have the competition in place sooner, rather than later, Sexton emphasised there's no rush.
"We want to do it right. We've got to get the look and feel right through our players and people involved to make sure it's really genuine and the right support is around the players. It's not about trying to make a competition which is the same as the men. So we're happy with that and we're comfortable with where we're at at the moment."
In order to ensure those desires are met, Sexton will help conduct a thorough debrief, involving players, management, and the respective unions after the match.
"The great thing with these sorts of things is that sometimes you've just got to get started. They're not always perfect, but you've just got to get started. So there will be some things that we get right, and some things that we will adjust, but I know just talking to the players and management, they're excited, so it's a really good opportunity going forward."