Today Australian Rugby Union (ARU) announced an historic partnership with Buildcorp who will become naming-rights partners of the Wallaroos and upcoming Women’s National XVs Championships, which will be held from 24-26 June, at Riverview, Sydney.
Following the Buildcorp Women’s National XVs Championships, a Wallaroos squad will be selected for the first-ever Eden Park double-header, where the Wallaroos will take on the Black Ferns before the Wallabies play the All Blacks on 22 October.
It is the first time in Australian Rugby history that the Wallaroos and the Women’s National XVs Championships have received such strong support from an external partner.
Under the two-year partnership arrangement, the Buildcorp logo will adorn the Wallaroos’ playing jersey, and they will have naming rights for the team and Women’s National XVs Championships.
Through these partnerships, Buildcorp now has a presence at grassroots, state, national and international levels of rugby. The company’s rugby partnerships range from women’s and men’s university rugby teams in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, to the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship, and now the Buildcorp Women’s National XVs Championships and the Buildcorp Wallaroos.
ARU CEO Bill Pulver said he was thrilled that Buildcorp had bolstered its commitment to women’s rugby in Australia.
“With the Buildcorp Women’s National XVs Championships kick-off less than two weeks away, and with our Australian Women’s Sevens preparing for Rio Olympics, our women’s rugby players throughout the country are hitting their peak. Buildcorp’s support comes at an opportune time, and will be invaluable to these women throughout the Buildcorp Women’s National XVs Championships as they vie for selection in the Buildcorp Wallaroos team which will take on the Black Ferns at Eden Park.”
“Women’s rugby is a core strategic focus for our organisation, as we strive to make Australian Rugby a game for all, and inspire all Australians to enjoy our great global game. By 2020, we want 15% of all Australian rugby players to be female.”
“Buildcorp have a history of supporting rugby’s growth markets, as we saw when they became the inaugural naming-rights partner of the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship. Women’s rugby is now the fastest growing sport in the world, with 500k new female players across the world joining every year, for the past few years. With Buildcorp’s support, we will harness this momentum to ensure there is a place in our rugby community for all girls and women around Australia.”
Buildcorp Principal Josephine Sukkar said: “I have seen firsthand the hard work and dedication these inspirational athletes put into their game and their team. Nothing makes Buildcorp prouder than to support the Wallaroos as they begin their crucial preparations for the 2017 World Cup. In our 25 years supporting grassroots rugby, we’ve seen the exponential boost that investment and support gives to a team’s development and achievements. The recent Australian Women’s Sevens World Series win is testament to that. It’s our aim to give this same opportunity to the women who want to play XVs rugby and we look forward to seeing them thrive over the next two years.
“However, this sponsorship is just the start and we urge other businesses to commit to investing in women and growing the game. Through our shared investment, we can all help to develop stronger players, teams and leaders in rugby, business and our communities.”
Former Wallaroo and co-captain of the 2015/16 Championship-winning Australian Women’s Sevens team, Sharni Williams said, “It’s great for the Wallaroos and the National Championships to have the support of Buildcorp. It’s a massive step in the right direction for women’s rugby in this country.”
“I started off playing fifteen-a-side rugby when it basically had no national profile at all. Now, with the Buildcorp Women’s National XVs Championships, girls can get out there and impress selectors and put themselves on a pathway towards representing their country in the Buildcorp Wallaroos team.”
“Playing New Zealand, in Sevens and XVs, is always a tough battle, but running out on the field at Eden Park will be amazing for all the women who get that opportunity this year.”
Last year over 200 women from across Australia competed in the Women’s National XVs Championships, which was won by Sydney.