Women's rugby union has a history going back to the late 19th century but it was not until 1982 that the first international fixture (or "Test Match") took place. The match was organised in connection with the Dutch Rugby Union's 50th anniversary. As part of the celebrations on June 13, 1982 the French national women's team was invited to Utrecht to play the Dutch, France winning 4-0 in a game that has since been recognised as the first ever women's internationalrugby unionmatch.
Official recognition of women's internationals was not immediate. Almost all women's rugby was originally organised outside of the control of either national unions or the IRB. Partly as a result no internationally agreed list of rugby internationals exists. However, even in the male game, the IRB does not decide which matches are "full internationals" (or "test matches"), leaving such decisions up to participating unions.
As a result one country may classify a match as a full international (and award full test caps) while the opposition may not - countries may even award caps for games against an opposition that is not a national team (World XVs, for example).
International rugby initially grew slowly. Sweden joined France and the Netherlands in 1984, followed by Italy in 1985, but it was not until 1987 that the first international took place outside Europe. However, since 2003 the game has expanded rapidly and now over 50 nations have played at least one "test match".
Over 1000 internationals have now been played. Traditional centres of rugby New Zealand, England and France have been the most successful nations, but they have been joined by a number of "non-traditional" nations who have been almost as successful - such as the USA and Kazakhstan. Unlike men's rugby, there is no official ranking of women's teams - generally the IRB refer to the placings in the preceding World Cup. However FIRA compile an annual ranking of European teams and rugby statistician Serge Piquet has produced a currently unofficial, but generally accepted, world ranking list. Another ranking list appears on The Roon Ba website 
Individual unions compile their own international records. As a result the list below will conflict with some of these "official" records (much in the same way as they will conflict with each other) as unions:
may not include some games in their official records because they fielded a below strength team in a tournament for full international XVs, or
may include games which are not listed below because they fielded a full strength team in a friendly against an unofficial or "A" team.
For consistency this list has used the following criteria when defining what is or is not an international:
Tournament games between national representative XVs from tournaments for full international teams, regardless of an individual union's selection policy;
"Friendly" fixtures which it appears were generally promoted prior to the game as being between full strength national XVs. In case of doubt the opinion of the home union - i.e. the promoter of the game - has carried the most weight.
Fixtures between official national selections and supra-national teams (such as "World XVs").
Each match below is prefixed by a unique running number, has a three number suffix indicating how many games each team had played up to this point, and how many games had been played between the two sides. For example: