The 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 tournament is scheduled to be held from the 8th of October, 2022 to the 12th of November, 2022 in New Zealand. Initially, the match was to be held in 2021, but the event was postponed due to concerns over COVID-19 along with all rugby tours to New Zealand. It will be held in the cities of Auckland and Whangarei. The competition is set to last for 43 days, eight days more than it was originally supposed to last.
The 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup will be the ninth edition of the tournament and the first to be hosted in the southern hemisphere. The previous tournament was held in Dublin and Belfast, where record numbers were recorded for both attendance and viewership. A total of 12 nations are going to take part in the tournament.
The 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup will also be the first women’s world cup tournament to be played with the new format introduced in 2018 where instead of classification matches, teams will be playing quarter-finals. The game will also be referred to as Rugby World Cup 2021 after it was announced that gender designations will be removed from all World Cup tournaments.
Postponement and new dates
As stated above, the tournament was initially planned to take place in September and October 2021. However, several countries globally were plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the proposal by World Rugby to postpone the tournament, a decision that was officially confirmed in March 2021.
Upon announcing the postponement of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021, World Rugby stated that upon consultation with the relevant stakeholders, they felt going ahead with the tournament as initially planned would not provide an environment for all the participating teams to be at their best. In May 2021, new dates for the tournament were released with an extra 8 days added to give players enough time to rest.
Women’s rugby world cup 2021 participating nations
A total of 12 teams will strive to win this prestigious trophy. Seven teams gained automatic qualification after finishing among the top seven in the last edition of the women’s rugby world cup. These teams are New Zealand, France, England, Canada, the United States, Wales, and Australia.
The other teams qualified as winners of regional tournaments with South Africa, Fiji, and Italy having already booked their places. The final qualification spot will be grabbed by the winner of the playoffs arranged between runners-up of regional tournaments.
For all the previous women’s rugby world cup tournaments, three teams: New Zealand, England, and the United States, have been the dominant sides. In fact, no final has failed to feature one of these teams, with Canada being the only other team to reach the final in 2014.
New Zealand is still the strong favorite to win the tournament as both the host and the defending champion. However, England and France should not be written off, especially considering how well they have been playing lately. We also expect strong performances from Wales, Canada, the USA, and Ireland. Currently, England is ranked as the top team globally, followed by New Zealand and France.