New Zealand beat Wales comfortably when they met earlier in the World Cup

New Zealand Rugby says there was “never any intention to black out” the Women’s Rugby World Cup after the All Blacks Test match was scheduled to coincide with the women’s quarter-final against Wales.

The All Blacks face Japan on Saturday, but NZR says it “didn’t factor in” the clash when Japan Rugby set the kick-off time.

The Tokyo Test, which was requested to be postponed by NZR, kicks off at 06:50 BST, with the Black Ferns kicking off at Fangarea 40 minutes later.

New Zealand leaders criticized the schedule clash, with Justice Minister Kiritapu Allan calling it “disgraceful” and Acting Prime Minister Grant Robertson saying he had “expected better” from NZR.

“Unfortunately, when Rugby Japan set the kick-off time for the All Blacks Test, NZR failed to take into account the Rugby World Cup provision that the host nation will play in Quarter-Final 2, regardless of pool results, and may have inadvertently caused a clash.” NZR said in a statement.

“It was never the intention to overshadow the Rugby World Cup and Rugby New Zealand is delighted with the way New Zealanders have embraced not only the Black Ferns but the tournament as a whole.

“NZR has made a request to Japan Rugby to move the kick-off time, but we respect the reasons given that we cannot move the time.”

New Zealand are the reigning champions and five-time winners of the Women’s Rugby World Cup, and beat Wales 56-12 when they met in the pool stage of the tournament.

In September NZR lost $280,000 (£145,000) of funding for failing to meet the quota of at least 40% of their board consisting of female officials.

“We encourage New Zealanders to continue their inspirational support for the Black Ferns as they continue their journey through what has been an outstanding tournament to date,” NZR added.

“It promises to be an exciting weekend of rugby for our teams in black and we look forward to supporting both the Black Ferns and the All Blacks this weekend.”