World Rugby’s plan to host the next Women’s World Cup in New Zealand next September has been shelved as the sport’s governing body has admitted more time is needed in order to stage the best tournament possible.
A World Rugby statement on the Women’s World Cup finals delay said: “World Rugby has made the difficult decision to recommend the postponement of Rugby World Cup 2021, scheduled to be hosted in New Zealand between September 18-October 16 until next year. The recommendation will be considered by the Rugby World Cup board and World Rugby executive committee on March 8 and 9 respectively.
“While appreciating the recommendation is extremely disappointing for teams and fans, it has their interests at heart, and gives the tournament the best opportunity to be all it can be for them, all New Zealanders and the global rugby family. The recommendation is based on the evolution of the uncertain and challenging global Covid-19 landscape.
“It has become clear in recent discussions with key partners including New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Government and participating unions, that, given the scale of the event and the Covid-19-related uncertainties, it is just not possible to deliver the environment for all teams to be the best that they can be on the sport’s greatest stage.
“The challenges include uncertainty and the ability for teams to prepare adequately for a Rugby World Cup tournament both before and on arrival in New Zealand, and challenging global travel restrictions.
'Having overseas players makes the Premier 15s more competitive, which strengthens both England players and their neighbours'
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 1, 2021
“World Rugby can assure teams, New Zealanders and the global rugby family that the recommendation to postpone the tournament will help to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2021 will be all it can be next year for players, fans and the rugby family – one of the great Rugby World Cups.
“Further updates will be issued following the Rugby World Cup board and World Rugby executive committee meetings next week.”
"I approached the Springboks and they were in a similar position to us without fixtures and they said they could be looking for games"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 2, 2021
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