A Look at the 2021 Rugby World Cup – The First to Be Held in the Southern Hemisphere
The Rugby World Cup is the biggest Rugby Union international competition for women. It used to be called the Women's Rugby World Cup, but in 2020 it was decided that genders would not be included in titles as a commitment to brand consistency and equality. Like the men's tournament, the women's edition takes place every four years, with the most recent one taking place in Ireland in 2017. The next tournament will be held later this year in New Zealand from the 18th of September to the 16th of October - this is the first time that the women's edition of the Rugby World Cup will take place in the Southern Hemisphere. In this article you will find everything that you need to know about this event.
The Teams That Will Play in This Competition
New Zealand would have qualified as the host nation, but they had already automatically qualified since they won the last tournament -a tournament without the reigning champions would be quite weird, obviously. France, England, Canada, Wales, Australia, and the United States were automatic qualifiers as the finished in the top seven at the last tournament. The other participants have had to go through qualifiers, which are not finished yet. At the time of writing, the other teams that have qualified so far are South Africa and Fiji. Other teams that could yet qualify include the likes of Kenya, Samoa, and Colombia.
New Zealand are the most successful women's team, having won the competition five times. The other two teams that have gone on to win this tournament are England (two times) and the United States (once).
The Black Ferns will be the bookmakers' favourites to go and lift this trophy for the sixth time, while the likes of England, who have finished second on an incredible five occasions, will be the second favourites to make it a hat-trick of wins. If you want to entertain yourself even more by betting on some of the upcoming world cup rugby matches, then you will need to think about opening an account with the best rugby betting sites. You will obviously also want the best odds, so you can get the most value for your hard-earned money. You can find these on our odds page, so do yourself a huge favour and pay it a visit when you get a spare couple of minutes.
So, who do we think we go ahead and lift the most prestigious prize in women’s rugby? Well, just like the bookmakers, we cannot look beyond New Zealand to retain their trophy. However, whenever New Zealand and England meet on the rugby field, it is usually a close match, so it is not inconceivable that England could be the ones that prevent New Zealand from lifting the trophy for the sixth time.
The draw for the 2021 World Cup was hosted in New Zealand on the 20th of November by sports journalist Elma Smit and former England international Ugo Monye. The teams were seeded according to what their rankings were prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. This was actually the first time that the draw was done using World Rankings and not classification, like the 2017 edition.
The bands for the draw were as follows:
- Band 1 - New Zealand (1), England (2), Canada (3)
- Band 2 - France (4), Australia (5), United States (6
- Band 3 - Wales (7), Europe 1, South Africa
- Band 4 - Asia 1, Fiji, Repechage winner
The balls were drawn by Jacinda Ardern (Prime Minister), Melodie Robinson (former Black Ferns player), Farah Palmer (former Black Ferns player), and Dan Carter (Former All Blacks player).
There will be three groups of four teams, and each team will play the other teams once. Teams are given four points for winning and two points if they draw, while there is a bonus point for scoring four tries or for losing by no more than eight points. The top two teams from each pool and the two of the best third-placed sides will advance to the quarterfinals.
The pools for the 2021 World Cup are as follows:
- Pool A - New Zealand, Australia, Wales, Repechage winner
- Pool B - Canada, United States, Europe 1, Asia 1
- Pool C - England, France, South Africa, Fiji
Three stadiums on New Zealand's North Island have been chosen to host all of the matches, and these are Eden Park (capacity of 60,000), Semenoff Stadium (capacity of 30,000), and Waitakere Stadium (capacity of 4,901). The opening game of the tournament will be played at Eden Park, while it will also play host to both the semi-finals, the play-off for third place, and the final. Pool games will be spread out between the three stadiums, while the Waitakere Stadium and the Semenoff Stadium will host the quarterfinals.