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New Zealand to host the 2021 World Cup

New Zealand will host the Women's Rugby World Cup in July and August 2021 having beaten off competition from Australia to win the rights. 

It will be the first Women’s Rugby World Cup in the southern hemisphere.

The tournament will be held in Auckland and Whangarei on New Zealand’s North Island over six weeks. 

Matches will be played at the 5,000 capacity Waitakere Stadium in Auckland and the Northland Events Centre in Whangarei, with a capacity of up to 20,000, as well as the 25,000 capacity Albany Stadium and Eden Park, which hosted the Rugby World Cup 2011 final.

The 2021 tournament will be the first to feature exciting new format changes, including the extension of the tournament window from 23 to 35 days , the addition of a quarter-final stage and squad increases from 28 to 30 players, reflecting World Rugby’s commitment to accelerating the development of the women’s game.

World Rugby Chair Bill Beaumont said: “Congratulations to New Zealand on being elected Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 host. They presented a very strong and compelling bid and we look forward to working with New Zealand Rugby to host a successful and inspiring tournament.

“Women’s rugby continues to grow with more than 2.4 million women and girls playing rugby at all levels, accounting for more than a quarter of players globally. With Women’s Rugby World Cup attracting record crowds and broadcast audiences in each of the last three tournaments - Ireland 2017, France 2014 and England 2010 - I am in no doubt that the 2021 tournament, the first to be held in the southern hemisphere, will continue this record-breaking trend.

“I would also like to thank Australia for their exceptional bid. We hope to welcome Australia back to bid again in the future.”

On announcement of the successful bid, New Zealand Rugby Board Member and former Black Ferns captain Farah Palmer said: “We are honoured and excited to be awarded WRWC 2021 and look forward to delivering the first Women’s Rugby World Cup tournament in the southern hemisphere.  

“The New Zealand Government strongly supported the bid, with backing from MBIE, Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and Whangarei District Council.  “We are looking forward to working together to deliver a world-class tournament for players, officials, fans, commercial partners and spectators watching around the world.”

New Zealand won their fifth Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017 after they beat England 41-32