RWC 2021: Auckland to host world cup draw in November

NEWS DIGEST – The Rugby World Cup 2021 draw has been slated to take place at the Auckland’s central business district on Friday, 20 November, 2020.

For the first time, the World Rugby Women’s Rankings will be used to determine the draw seedings and bands for the seven direct qualifiers in bands one to three, with the five teams to emerge from the qualification process to be placed into band three and four.

The tournament will begin 18 September-16 October 2021 across three match venues. It will be contested by 12 teams, of which nine are already confirmed.

The seven teams that qualified directly for RWC 2021 courtesy of a top-seven finish at the last tournament in Ireland in 2017, includes defending champions New Zealand, runners-up England, bronze medallists France, USA, Canada, Australia and Wales.

Fiji and South Africa confirmed their places through the regional qualification process back in 2019, via the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup and Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship.

The remaining three places will be filled by a qualifier from Asia and Europe together with the winner of the Final Qualification Tournament, a first for a women’s Rugby World Cup, offering a second opportunity for teams to qualify.

It will also be the first time the tournament will be hosted in the southern hemisphere for a golden year in women’s rugby, the ninth edition of the showcase tournament.