Women's Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2021

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

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?

New Zealand’s Black Ferns are 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

That said, England, with it’s powerful runners, kicking game and strong set piece plays, will certainly be a strong contender. The French women’s team are also building very strongly and should be considered a dark horse to take the title.

The women’s six nations in early 2021 will provide more insight on which European teams will be strongest come kick off time on the 18th of September! Then let’s not forget the Canadian women’s rugby team, currently 3rd in the world rugby rankings…

Current World Rankings (September 2020)

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

  1. New Zealand 
  2. England
  3. Canada
  4. France
  5. Italy
  6. Australia
  7. USA
  8. Ireland
  9. Wales
  10. Spain

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.