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Kiwi Ferns to celebrate 25th anniversary in year's only Test

The Kiwi Ferns are set to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first New Zealand women's team by hosting Fetū Samoa in the year's only Test at Mt Smart Stadium on November 7.

With the 2020 Oceania Cup and the end-of-season Kangaroos tour to England cancelled due to COVID-19, the women’s Test is set to take centre stage as it will also be the only top-class rugby league played in New Zealand this year.

The NZRL confirmed the Kiwi Ferns, who played their first Test against Australia in 1995, will play Pacific rivals Fetū Samoa in a double-header on November 7 that also features a clash between the Tonga and Niue women’s teams.

Plans are underway to recognise every woman to have worn the Kiwi Ferns jersey with official numbers on an honour role.

The Kiwi Ferns last faced Fetū Samoa in June 2019 where they came away with a convincing 34 -14 victory.

The Ferns will be looking to assert further dominance heading towards the 2021 World Cup while Fetū Samoa will be seeking redemption against the World Cup 9s champions.

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“It is really exciting to see this Test come to light despite the COVID-19 setbacks throughout the year," NZRL CEO Greg Peters said. 

“What better way to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Kiwi Ferns than with a stand-alone women’s Test and an afternoon packed of women’s rugby league action.

"It reflects the exponential growth our female game has experienced, which is only continuing to grow.

“To have the only New Zealand international Test match for the year on home soil is great for the game and also our communities who have missed their fix of live rugby league action in 2020.”

The Kiwi Ferns will take the field under the helm of new coach Ricky Henry who was this week appointed to the role until the 2021 World Cup in England.