Captain of Scotland Women Rachel Malcolm has said the new WXV tournament that was announced this week is a “massive step forward” for the game.

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World Rugby announced on Tuesday that it has invested £6.4million in the new “landmark” WXV tournament, which will launch in 2023 and feed into the expanded 2025 Rugby World Cup.

The competition will include 16 teams split into three tiers, with qualification based on regional tournaments including the Six Nations.

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“I think it’s a massive step forward,” the 29-year-old said on the Scottish Rugby Podcast alongside Al Kellock, Chris Paterson and Jamie McMillan.

“I think we’ve seen more Tests within the women’s game in the last couple of years, particularly for Scotland having those extra autumn Tests, and it’s made a massive difference to us as a team in our development and our learning.

“To have these guaranteed fixtures in the calendar every year is massive for us and it will be the same for a number of other countries who don’t get a lot of Tests. It’s brilliant for women’s rugby just to keep pushing the game on and hopefully get more engagement with the women’s game as well because that will be massive as hopefully they will push the broadcasting side of it and get the game out there.

“The biggest thing is investment. Within the women’s game we’re not asking for a lot, we’re just asking for investment and this is exactly what this is. For us to progress and play at a better standard it does take that and I think it’s just brilliant to see that World Rugby’s showing that the women’s game is for the future and they are going to invest in it and they are going to get us out there.

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“The only way we move forward over the next few years is to get more girls playing and get girls playing at a high standard and this is a brilliant opportunity for that.

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