World Rugby has confirmed this year’s women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand has been officially postponed to 2022.
- World Rugby says the Women’s Rugby World Cup has been postponed for this year in order to protect players’ welfare, wellbeing and preparation
- The tournament, which was due to be played in Auckland and Whangarei between September 18 and October 16, will have new 2022 dates announced shortly
- World Rugby says the postponement will ensure a better tournament with benefits from a global vaccination drive and less travel restrictions
World Rugby says its executive committee has now ratified the recommendation to postpone the event because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It also announced a $3.6 million funding package to assist unions hit by the postponement, with a focus on providing teams with international competition so they are at their best in 2022.
“Our hearts go out to all the players, team personnel and fans who were preparing and looking forward to the World Cup this year,” World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said.
“The decision to postpone has been made entirely in the interests of their welfare, wellbeing and preparation, and the desire to put on a showcase tournament that will super-charge women’s rugby globally.”
Among the reasons given for the postponement were the uncertainty of having adequate preparation for all teams, challenges in completing the qualification process, and an inability to guarantee full local and international fan attendance at matches.
He said by postponing the event by a year, it will ensure a better event that benefits from the global vaccination drive and eased travel burdens.
“I would also like to emphasise that we are unwavering in our commitment to the women’s game,” he said.
“The top players in the women’s game should be guaranteed the stage that they deserve.”
World Rugby’s statement said that new dates for the postponed tournament — to be held in Auckland and Whangarei — would be announced shortly.