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Women’s Rugby World Cup Officially Postponed To 2022


After recommending the postponement of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand to 2022 last week, World Rugby has announced the confirmed postponement of the event.

Following an executive committee meeting, the decision was officially made to postpone the tournament due to the continued impact and uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the announcement, World Rugby also confirmed a £2 million (AUD$3.6 million) funding package focused on developing a Rugby World Cup 2021 high performance preparation and competition programme for qualified teams.

World Rugby chairman, Bill Beaumont, said the tournament was postponed due to concerns surrounding the safe and reliable travel of those involved with the tournament to New Zealand and the ability for teams to prepare adequately.

“Our hearts go out to all the players, team personnel and fans who were preparing and looking forward to Rugby World Cup 2021 this year,” Beaumont said.

“We recognise that they will be extremely disappointed, but I would like to assure them that the decision to postpone has been made entirely in the interests of their welfare, well-being and preparation and the desire to put on a showcase tournament that will super-charge women’s rugby globally.

“Given the number of athletes and personnel arriving from numerous locations, recent COVID-19 developments mean that it is simply not possible to guarantee optimal conditions for all teams to prepare for their pinnacle event, with continued uncertainties regarding training and match preparation.

“A Rugby World Cup is the best of the best, for the best of the best, and as we have seen in recent weeks, emergence of COVID-19 variants and ongoing lockdowns show that it is still a fragile global environment.

“The top players in the women’s game should be guaranteed the stage that they deserve, with the opportunity for their family and friends to be able to attend, and also the wider national and international rugby family.

“Postponement by a year should enable us to enjoy the benefits of the global vaccination programme, easing the burden on international travel requirements and within New Zealand itself.

“I would like to thank New Zealand Rugby and the New Zealand Government for their support.

“We will continue to strive to ensure all the conditions are in place for the greatest of Rugby World Cups and I know that all New Zealanders will play their full part.

“I would also like to emphasise that we are unwavering in our commitment to the women’s game and we will be investing over £2 million into an international competition schedule for teams to ensure they are at their best for 2022,” he said.

Addressing the concerns causing the postponement of the event, World Rugby also cited the ongoing challenges surrounding the global qualification process, inability to guarantee full local and international fan attendance at events including player families, and the desire to avoid outright cancellation of the tournament if an issue arises over the remaining six months.

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