Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand to be postponed until 2022 because of COVID uncertainty
World Rugby has recommended the postponement of the women’s Rugby World Cup 2021, scheduled to be hosted in New Zealand between 18 September and 16 October, until next year. The recommendation will be considered by the Rugby World Cup Board and World Rugby Executive Committee on 8 and 9 March respectively.
The federation said that “while appreciating the recommendation is extremely disappointing for teams and fans, it has their interests at heart, and gives the tournament the best opportunity to be all it can be for them, all New Zealanders and the global rugby family”.
The recommendation is based on the evolution of the uncertain and challenging global COVID-19 landscape, it added.
“It has become clear in recent discussions with key partners including New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Government and participating unions, that, given the scale of the event and the COVID-19-related uncertainties, it is just not possible to deliver the environment for all teams to be the best that they can be on the sport’s greatest stage.”
The challenges include uncertainty and the ability for teams to prepare adequately for a Rugby World Cup tournament both before and on arrival in New Zealand, and challenging global travel restrictions.
Further updates will be issued following the Rugby World Cup Board and World Rugby Executive Committee meetings next week.
The 2021 Rugby World Cup is scheduled to be the ninth Rugby World Cup for women.