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WXV 2024 announcement: Canada to host the top level for the first time

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 17: L to R, Captains Manae Feleu of France, Hannah Jones of Wales, Ruahei Demant of New Zealand, Marlie Packer of England, Michaela Leonard of Australia and Sophie de Goede of Canada pose during the WXV1 tournament welcome event at Te Papa on October 17, 2023 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

WXV will return in September 2024, hosted by Canada, South Africa, and Dubai.

The three levels of the tournament will be played on three consecutive weekends in September and October with six places for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2025 on the line.

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Following record crowds at the World Rugby Pacific Four Series in 2023 and the women’s national team excelling to earn a place in the top four of the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini, hosting WXV 1 in 2024 will increase exposure for the sport in North America. Canada additionally finished second behind England in last year’s WXV 1.

Building on last year’s competition, WXV 2 will return to South Africa, and WXV 3 will take place in Dubai again.

WXV will continue to provide increased opportunities for international competition, something of paramount importance as the expanded 16-team Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2025 approaches.

World Rugby Chief of Women’s Rugby Sally Horrox said: “We are delighted to be working with Rugby Canada, the South African Rugby Union and Dubai to host WXV later this year. The tournament plays a fundamental role in helping us to grow women’s rugby and provides more opportunities for players, showcases the game to more fans and inspires more girls to play. Our hosts all share our ambition to take the tournament to the next level and further strengthen the development of the women’s game.

“It’s crucial that teams get sufficient preparation and game-time ahead of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, and WXV is designed to help to provide this for players and coaches alike. I saw firsthand just how much the competitiveness grew across the tournament last year and I look forward to the same again.”

Dates for the tournament:

Round 1 – Friday, 27 – Sunday, 29 September

Round 2 – Friday, 4 – Sunday, 6 October

Round 3 – Friday, 11 – Sunday, 13 October

Qualification

The opportunity to qualify for this year’s WXV will begin in March through regional competitions, with 18 places up for grabs.

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WXV 1 will once again feature the top three teams from the Guinness Women’s Six Nations (which last year were England, France, and Wales), and the top three from the Pacific Four Series (which last year were New Zealand, Canada, and Australia).

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WXV 2 will include the winner of the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup (South Africa last year), Asia Women’s Championship winner (Japan last year), the Guinness Women’s Six Nations fourth and fifth (Scotland and Italy last year), the winner of the playoff between the Guinness Women’s Six Nations sixth place and the Rugby Europe Championship winner, and the fourth-placed team at the Pacific Four Series (the USA last year).

WXV 3 will be made up of the runner-up of the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup (Kenya last year), the Asia Women’s Championship runner-up (Kazakhstan last year), the runner-up of the playoff between the Guinness Women’s Six Nations sixth place and the Rugby Europe Championship winner (Ireland and Spain both played in WXV 3 last year), the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship winner (Samoa last year, who played in WXV 2) and runner up (Fiji last year who played in WXV 3), and the winner of Colombia (last-placed team in WXV 3 last year) vs the Netherlands (top-ranked team from an alternative region).

The road to RWC 2025 and the significance of WXV

As a result of reaching the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup in 2022, New Zealand, England, Canada, and France have already qualified for RWC2025.

Six teams will then qualify as the winners or the next best-placed team behind those already qualified at the regional tournaments in 2024 (Asia Rugby Women’s Championship, Guinness Women’s Six Nations, Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship, Pacific Four Series, Rugby Africa Women’s Cup, and Sudamerica play-off).

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The remaining six places will be allocated to the highest-finishing teams in WXV who have not yet qualified through RWC 2021 and the regional tournaments outlined above.

WXV will break in 2025 for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in England, and a full review of the tournament will be undertaken with participating unions to ensure that, collectively, WXV continues to support high-performance and commercial goals on the road to Women’s Rugby World Cup 2029 in Australia and beyond.

WXV continues to be supported by Capgemini, Gallagher, Mastercard, Mitsubishi Electric, and ChildFund with World Rugby also injecting multi-million-pound investment on the road to RWC 2025.

The WXV match schedule, venues and ticketing information will be announced in the coming weeks.

More information, including all the latest WXV news, can be found here.

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