Rugby World Cup (women)

(Redirected from Women's Rugby World Cup)

The Rugby World Cup is the women's rugby union world championship which is organised by World Rugby. The first Rugby World Cup for women was held in 1991, but it was not until the 1998 tournament that the tournament received official backing from the International Rugby Board (IRB, now World Rugby); by 2009, the IRB had retroactively recognized the 1991 and 1994 tournaments and their champions.[1]

Rugby World Cup
Most recent tournament
2025 Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup Logo.png
Rugby World Cup logo
SportWomen's rugby union
Instituted6 April 1991; 31 years ago (1991-04-06)
Number of teams12
RegionsWorldwide (World Rugby)
Holders New Zealand (6th title)
Most titles New Zealand (6 titles)
Websiterugbyworldcup.com
Tournaments

Normally, the tournament is held every four years. With the exception of the 2018 edition that was brought forward to 2017 f to be a change of cycle and the 2021 edition that was postponed to 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three countries have won the women's Rugby World Cup since its establishment, with New Zealand having won the tournament a record six times.

The championship was previously branded as the Women's Rugby World Cup. As part of an effort to promote greater parity between the championship and its men's counterpart, the Rugby World Cup, World Rugby announced in 2019 that the women's championship would be officially marketed under the title Rugby World Cup, with no gender designation, beginning in 2021.

HistoryEdit

1990sEdit

Before the first Women's Rugby World Cup officially sanctioned by the International Rugby Board there had been three previous tournaments of a similar nature. The first of these was an event held in August 1990 in New Zealand. Though not considered a world cup, the tournament was referred to as the World Rugby Festival for Women. The competition included teams representing the United States, the Netherlands, Russia, and the hosts, New Zealand – who emerged as winners after defeating the United States in the final.

The first tournament referred to as the Women's Rugby World Cup was held in 1991 and hosted by Wales. Twelve countries were divided into four groups of three. The United States, against expectations, took the first championship with a 19–6 victory over England.[2] In the Plate competition Canada prevailed over Spain 18–4. Following the first tournament, it was decided to move the tournament schedule to the year prior to the next men's world cup, therefore reducing the quadrennial cycle to just three years.

The next event was originally scheduled to take place in Amsterdam but ended up being moved to Scotland. Eleven countries competed in the tournament with the English meeting the United States in the final for the second time; however, in this instance England emerged as winners.[3]

The 1998 tournament became the first women's world cup officially sanctioned by the International Rugby Board. Amsterdam, who were originally scheduled to host the previous world cup, hosted the largest ever tournament with all matches played at the new National Rugby Centre in the city's west end.[4] The tournament also saw a record sixteen teams compete. New Zealand, who withdrew from the previous tournament, also competed. The final saw New Zealand defeat the United States and claim their first world cup title.

2000–presentEdit

The next event was taken to Spain in 2002. New Zealand won the title for the second time by defeating England 19–9 in the final.

The 2006 World Cup took place in Edmonton, Canada, and was the first major international rugby union tournament and women's world cup held in North America. New Zealand defeated England in the final to win their third successive world cup title.[5]

 
Wales v South Africa match in 2010

A record four countries expressed interest in hosting the 2010 World Cup. After considering bids from England, Germany, Kazakhstan and South Africa, the IRB announced that the 2010 event would take place in England.[6] The tournament was staged in London, with the final played at the Twickenham Stoop.[7]

 
New Zealand celebrating their title in 2017

The 2017 World Cup was hosted by the Irish Rugby Football Union, which governs the sport on an All-Ireland basis. Games were held in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland and in Belfast in Northern Ireland.[8][9] The tournament was held one year earlier than usual in order to re-align the Women's Rugby World Cup's scheduling for greater synergy with the Summer Olympics (which would be held one year prior; rugby sevens debuted in 2016) and Rugby World Cup Sevens (one year after). The tournament was to return to a four-year cycle afterward,[10] with the 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup awarded to New Zealand.[11]

 
Logo prior to 2021, when gender designation would be removed

In August 2019, World Rugby announced that in an effort to "elevate the profile of the women's game", the women's championship will be marketed under the "Rugby World Cup" branding, with no gender designation, beginning in 2021. World Rugby stated that the decision was intended to promote gender equality and "[eliminate] any inherent or perceived bias" towards men's events, with chairman Bill Beaumont explaining that it "demonstrates our ongoing and unwavering commitment to advancing women in rugby both on and off the field in line with our ambitious strategic plan." World Rugby became the first major sports federation to rebrand its events in such a way.[11]

The 2021 tournament in New Zealand was postponed by one year to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it will still be branded as the 2021 Rugby World Cup.[12]

From 2025 the competition finals will be expanded to 16 teams, from the 12 competing in 2021.[13] On 12 May 2022, World Rugby announced that England, Australia and the United States would host the next three women's tournaments in 2025, 2029, and 2033 respectively. As part of a new strategy, Australia and the United States were also awarded the preceding men's tournaments in 2027 and 2031 respectively—marking the first time that the men's and women's Rugby World Cup will be held successively in the same host nation.[14]

ResultsEdit

TournamentsEdit

Ed. Year Host First place game Third place game Num.
teams
  Champion Score   Runner-up   Third Score Fourth
1 1991   Wales  
United States
19–6
Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
 
England
 
France
Shared[15]  
New Zealand
12
2 1994   Scotland  
England
38–23
Edinburgh Academicals, Edinburgh
 
United States
 
France
27–0
Edinburgh Academicals, Edinburgh
 
Wales
12
3 1998   Netherlands  
New Zealand
44–12
NRCA Stadium, Amsterdam
 
United States
 
England
31–15
NRCA Stadium, Amsterdam
 
Canada
16
4 2002   Spain  
New Zealand
19–9
Olympic Stadium, Barcelona
 
England
 
France
41–7
Olympic Stadium, Barcelona
 
Canada
16
5 2006   Canada  
New Zealand
25–17
Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
 
England
 
France
17–8
Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
 
Canada
12
6 2010   England  
New Zealand
13–10
Twickenham Stoop, London
 
England
 
Australia
22–8
Twickenham Stoop, London
 
France
12
7 2014   France  
England
21–9
Stade Jean-Bouin, Paris
 
Canada
 
France
25–18
Stade Jean-Bouin, Paris
 
Ireland
12
8 2017   Ireland[16]  
New Zealand
41–32
Ravenhill Stadium, Belfast
 
England
 
France
31–23
Ravenhill Stadium, Belfast
 
United States
12
9 2021[17]   New Zealand  
New Zealand
34–31
Eden Park, Auckland
 
England
 
France
36–0
Eden Park, Auckland
 
Canada
12
10 2025   England
Twickenham Stadium, London

Twickenham Stadium, London
16
11 2029   Australia

16
12 2033   United States

16

Team recordsEdit

Team Champions Runners-up Third place Fourth place Total top 4
  New Zealand 6 (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2017, 2021) 1 (1991) 7
  England 2 (1994, 2014) 6 (1991, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2017, 2021) 1 (1998) 9
  United States 1 (1991) 2 (1994, 1998) 1 (2017) 4
  Canada 1 (2014) 4 (1998, 2002, 2006, 2021) 5
  France 7 (1991, 1994, 2002, 2006, 2014, 2017, 2021) 1 (2010) 8
  Australia 1 (2010) 1
  Wales 1 (1994) 1
  Ireland 1 (2014) 1

Participating nationsEdit

Team 1991
 
1994
 
1998
 
2002
 
2006
 
2010
 
2014
 
2017
 
2021
 
  Australia 5th 7th 7th 3rd 7th 6th 6th
  Canada 5th 6th 4th 4th 4th 6th 2nd 5th 4th
  England 2nd 1st 3rd 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 2nd 2nd
  Fiji w e 9th
  France 3rd 3rd 8th 3rd 3rd 4th 3rd 3rd 3rd
  Germany w 14th 16th e
  Hong Kong e e e e 12th w
  Ireland 7th 10th 14th 8th 7th 4th 8th e
  Italy 8th w 12th 12th e e 9th 5th
  Japan 11th 8th 13th e e e 11th 12th
  Kazakhstan 9th 9th 11th 11th 11th 12th e
  Netherlands 7th w 13th 15th e e e e
  New Zealand 3rd w 1st 1st 1st 1st 5th 1st 1st
  Russia 11th[a] 11th 16th e e e e
  Samoa 9th 10th e 11th w
  Scotland 5th 6th 6th 6th 8th e e 10th
  South Africa 12th 10th 10th 11th
  Spain 6th w[b] 7th 8th 9th e 9th 10th e
  Sweden 10th 10th 15th 12th e
  United States 1st 2nd 2nd 5th 5th 5th 6th 4th 7th
  Wales 9th 4th 11th 10th 9th 8th 7th 8th
  1. ^ as Soviet Union
  2. ^ replaced by Scottish Students

Q = nation qualified for Final Tournament not yet played
w = nation withdrew from (final) Tournament
e = nation eliminated in qualifying stage and did not reach Final Tournament
– = nation did not enter competition.

The following nations have participated in qualifying stages, but have never reached the Final Tournament:

Team 1991
 
1994
 
1998
 
2002
 
2006
 
2010
 
2014
 
2017
 
2021
 
  Belgium e e
  Brazil e
  China e
  Colombia p
  Czech Republic e
  Finland e
  India e
  Kenya e e
  Laos e
  Madagascar e
  Papua New Guinea w e e
  Philippines e e
  Singapore e e e
  Switzerland e
  Thailand e e
  Tonga w
  Uganda e e

e = nation eliminated in qualifying stage and did not reach Final Tournament
w = nation withdrew from qualifying stage
p = nation possibly eliminated in qualifying stage and will need to be successful in Repechage in order to reach Final Tournament
– = nation did not enter qualifying stage competition.

Apart from the African region, the nations involved in the continental qualifying stages have not been announced as at 20 October 2019.

RefereeingEdit

Final refereesEdit

FormatEdit

The format for the 2006 tournament split the 12 participating nations into four pools of three teams. Each nation played three games, after the completion of which a re-seeding process took place. Nations were moved into divisions dictated by their respective overall tournament ranking with the top teams proceeding to the knockout stages.

The 2010 event maintained the number of teams participating at twelve, with regional qualifying tournaments.[19] The 2021 tournament retained the same format, but with the classification round replaced with quarter-finals, as with the men's Rugby World Cup.[20][21] In 2025, the tournament will expand to 16 teams.[13]

Media coverageEdit

The tournament has grown considerably in the past fifteen years although television audiences and event attendance still remain relatively low, especially in comparison to other women's world cup events. The final of the 2006 event in Canada was broadcast in a number of countries and streamed live via the internet.

Sky Sports broadcast 13 live matches from the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup, including the semi-finals, the third and fourth place play-off match and the final. The pool matches shown included all of England's matches, while each of the home nations' featured live too. There were also highlights shown from all other matches during the pool stages.[22]

In Ireland the Women's Rugby World Cup was broadcast by TG4 in 2014, the Irish language channel received praise for airing the tournament. TG4 provided coverage to all of the Irish matches as well as the final and semi-final.[23]

Certain matches in the 2017 WRWC knockout phases drew strong TV viewership in England and France, and were broadcast live in the United States.[24]

In 2017, ITV started televising Women’s Rugby Union World Cup matches on free-to-air TV for the first time in history, starting with the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ IRB press release Archived 2 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Women's Rugby World Cup – History". BBC Sport. 13 May 2002. p. 1. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
  3. ^ "1994 Women's Rugby World Cup – results". Uniweb. p. 1. Retrieved 14 December 2008.[dead link]
  4. ^ "Rugby Femenino (Women's Rugby)". Iespena.es. p. 1. Archived from the original on 19 December 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
  5. ^ "New Zealand retain crown". International Rugby Board. p. 1. Archived from the original on 23 July 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
  6. ^ Woods, Penny (12 November 2008). "Women's rugby looking to sidestep the doubters". The Guardian. London. p. 1. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
  7. ^ "History of the Women's Rugby World Cup". p. 1. Archived from the original on 12 December 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
  8. ^ Ryan, Padraic (13 May 2015). "Ireland to host 2017 Women's World Cup". RTÉ Sport. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  9. ^ "2017 Womens Rugby World Cup to be held in Ireland".
  10. ^ "Bidding process opened for 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup". Inside the Games. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  11. ^ a b "Top Story: World Rugby drops gender titles for World Cups". SportsPro. 22 August 2019. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  12. ^ "2021 World Cup set to be postponed for year". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  13. ^ a b Orchard, Sara (30 November 2020). "Women's Rugby World Cup to expand to 16 teams from 2025". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  14. ^ "U.S. to host 2031 and 2033 Rugby World Cups". ESPN.com. 12 May 2022. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  15. ^ A third place match was played – won by France, probably by 3–0. However, the game can only be considered as "unofficial" as it was not part of the original tournament plan, and the result was not recorded in any official tournament reports. The game is also not included in NZRFU international records.
  16. ^ Was played in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (United Kingdom).
  17. ^ Taking place in 2022.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Hollie Davidson Appointed Referee for Rugby World Cup 2021 Final".
  19. ^ "England to host Women's Rugby World Cup". rugbyheaven.co.nz. p. 1. Archived from the original on 17 October 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
  20. ^ "Women's Rugby World Cup: Format changes announced for 2021 tournament". BBC Sport. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  21. ^ Orchard, Sara (2018). "Women's Rugby World Cup: Format changes announced for 2021 tournament". BBC. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  22. ^ "WRWC live on Sky!". Sky Sports. 20 August 2010.
  23. ^ "News Releases - 17.07 - Women's Rugby World Cup to be broadcast LIVE on TG4 - TG4 - Irish language television channel - Teilifis Gaeilge". Archived from the original on 10 May 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  24. ^ "The rugby gender divide is too real", 18 September 2017.

External linksEdit