Women's Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2021 (2022)

Breaking news: new dates confirmed.

World Rugby has confirmed that due to COVID, the Women’s RWC 2021 will now run from 8th October to the 12th of November 2022, in Auckland and Northland, New Zealand. As such, the women’s Rugby World Cup will run for 43 days, not 35, which gives the teams at least five rest days between matches.

women's RWC 2021 NZ

Here is some key information on the 2021 women’s Rugby World Cup:

  • it is the ninth women’s RWC
  • it will be hosted solely by New Zealand
  • hosted in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time
  • dates: 18 September and 16 October 2021
  • venues: Waitakere Stadium (the Trusts Arena), Northland Events Centre (Semenoffs Stadium) and Auckland’s Eden Park 
  • the first RWC to remove gender designations from the title of a World Cup

Women's RWC 2021 (2022) Match Fixtures

Women's RWC 2021 (2022) Revised Schedule

Women's RWC 2021 Tours

Ensure you read the latest travel guidelines before travelling to New Zealand. Click here to read more. 

If you are interested in hosting a tour group to support your favourite RWC team or want to come to New Zealand as a rugby touring party to play local teams, watch the world cup and experience New Zealand, then we recommend contacting Rugby Tours International (RTI). 

RTI are offering exclusive tour programs for rugby groups throughout the women’s rugby world cup. They are the only financially bonded specialist Rugby Travel company in New Zealand, with offices in NZ, AUS and the USA.

RWC 2021 Participating Countries

A total of 12 teams will compete to win the 9th women’s rugby world cup in 2021.

With less than a year to go, nine teams have already qualified. 

Seven teams received automatic qualification based on the final standings of RWC 2017. South Africa and Fiji then qualified through regional tournaments, with the remaining three spots to be awarded through further regional tournaments by the end of 2020.

Qualification Summary:

  • Australia, who qualified automatically as a top seven finisher in RWC 2017.
  • Canada, who qualified automatically as a top seven finisher in RWC 2017.
  • England, who qualified automatically as a top seven finisher in RWC 2017.
  • Fiji, who qualified for their first Rugby World Cup by coming 3rd in the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship 2019 in Lautoka, Fiji.
  • France, who qualified automatically as a top seven finisher in RWC 2017.
  • New Zealand, who qualified automatically as winners of the 2017 women’s RWC tournament.
  • South Africa, who were the first regional qualifiers after beating Kenya to win the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup in Brakpan, South Africa.
  • USA, who qualified automatically as a top seven finisher in RWC 2017.
  • Wales, who qualified automatically as a top seven finisher in RWC 2017.

Follow this link to read more about the RWC 2021 qualification process. 

Rugby World Cup 2021 Qualification Process

Previous Winners of the Women's Rugby World Cup

YearHostWinnerScoreRunner Up
1991WalesUSA19 – 6England
1994ScotlandEngland38 – 23USA
1998NetherlandsNew Zealand44 – 12USA
2002SpainNew Zealand19 – 9England
2006CanadaNew Zealand25 – 17England
2010EnglandNew Zealand13 – 10England
2014FranceEngland21 – 9Canada
2017IrelandNew Zealand41-32England

Which team is the favourite to win RWC 2021?

The women’s RWC in 2022 will be a tightly contested tournament! New Zealand’s Black Ferns were the favorites to win RWC 2021 for the following key reasons:

  • they have won 5 of the last 6 RWC titles
  • they will have home ground advantage
  • their faster style of play should be better suited to what is anticipated to be fairly dry conditions

However, since their European tour in November 2021, where they were heavily defeated 4-0 by the power and flair of the England Roses and French teams.  

As such, both England and France, with their powerful runners, kicking game and strong set piece plays, will also be strong contenders.

Then the Welsh, Irish, Canadian and USA women’s teams are also building strongly and should be considered as outsiders to at least cause a few upsets, though probably won’t have enough depth and consistent to take the title.

The women’s six nations from Sat, 26 Mar 2022 – Sat, 30 Apr 2022 will provide more insight on which European teams will be strongest come kick off time on the 18th of September! 

Current World Rankings (December 2021)

The women’s world rugby union rankings, as at September 2020, are:

  1. England
  2. New Zealand 
  3. France
  4. Canada
  5. Australia
  6. USA
  7. Ireland
  8. Italy
  9. Scotland
  10. Spain
Latest women's rugby world rankings Dec 2021

Women's RWC 2021 ticket information

Where can you buy tickets? We suggest following this link to find out how to buy tickets to the 9th women’s rugby world cup. 

Women's RWC 2021 Video

Watch this video announcing the hosting rights for the women’s 2021 RWC, with New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew, Board Member and former Black Fern Dr Farah Palmer and World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont.