New Zealand will host Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 after World Rugby awarded the hosting rights for the prestigious tournament to New Zealand Rugby. It will be the first Women’s Rugby World Cup in the southern hemisphere.
With women’s rugby continuing to experience record global growth and participation levels at an all-time high, the world’s top female players will head to Auckland and Whangarei on New Zealand’s North Island for the ninth Women’s Rugby World Cup. The two cities will provide teams with an exceptional, world-class hosting experience during the six-week tournament.
Matches will be played at the 5,000 capacity Waitakere Stadium in Auckland and the Northland Events Centre in Whangarei, with a capacity of up to 20,000, as well as the 25,000 capacity Albany Stadium and Eden Park, which hosted the Rugby World Cup 2011 final.
Following extensive hosting interest, the selection process saw New Zealand and Australia submit strong and compelling bids. A comprehensive evaluation report was produced for World Rugby Council to consider based on agreed hosting criteria.
The tournament follows the very special and record-breaking Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 in Ireland which had a hugely positive impact on women’s rugby. It was the best attended Women’s Rugby World Cup to date with a record total attendance of 45,412, the most viewed with Ireland, France, the UK and USA all recording unprecedented viewing figures, and also the most socially engaged, generating 45 million views across official tournament platforms.
World Rugby Chair Bill Beaumont said: “Congratulations to New Zealand on being elected Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 host. They presented a very strong and compelling bid and we look forward to working with New Zealand Rugby to host a successful and inspiring tournament.
“Women’s rugby continues to grow with more than 2.4 million women and girls playing rugby at all levels, accounting for more than a quarter of players globally. With Women’s Rugby World Cup attracting record crowds and broadcast audiences in each of the last three tournaments - Ireland 2017, France 2014 and England 2010 - I am in no doubt that the 2021 tournament, the first to be held in the southern hemisphere, will continue this record-breaking trend.
“I would also like to thank Australia for their exceptional bid. We hope to welcome Australia back to bid again in the future.”
On announcement of the successful bid, New Zealand Rugby Board Member and former Black Ferns captain Farah Palmer said: “We are honoured and excited to be awarded WRWC 2021 and look forward to delivering the first Women’s Rugby World Cup tournament in the southern hemisphere.
“The New Zealand Government strongly supported the bid, with backing from MBIE, Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and Whangarei District Council. “We are looking forward to working together to deliver a world-class tournament for players, officials, fans, commercial partners and spectators watching around the world.”
New Zealand won their fifth Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017 after they beat England 41-32 in a pulsating final at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.