Rugby World Cup (women's)

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Rugby World Cup
Upcoming tournament
Rugby football current event.svg 2021 Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup Logo.png
Rugby World Cup logo
Sport Rugby union
Instituted6 April 1991;30 years ago (1991-04-06)
Number of teams12
RegionsWorldwide (WR)
HoldersFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand (5th title)
Most titlesFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand (5 titles)
Website http://www.rwcwomens.com/

The Rugby World Cup for women, historically known as the Women's Rugby World Cup, is the premier international competition in rugby union for women. The tournament is organised by the sport's governing body, World Rugby. The championships are currently held every four years; the event was most recently held in Ireland in 2017. [1] World Rugby has reset the tournament on a new four-year cycle to avoid conflict with the Commonwealth Games and Women's World Cup Sevens; World Cups will thus be held every four years after 2017. [2]

Contents

On 21 August 2019, World Rugby announced that gender designations would be removed from the titles of the men's and women's World Cups. Accordingly, all future World Cups for men and women will officially bear the "Rugby World Cup" name. The first tournament to be affected by the new policy will be the next women's tournament to be held in New Zealand in 2021, which will officially be titled as "Rugby World Cup 2021". [3]

The first Women's Rugby World Cup was held in 1991 and won by the United States. The 1991 and 1994 competitions were not officially sanctioned by World Rugby, then known as the International Rugby Football Board, at the time - they later received retrospective endorsement in 2009 when the governing body, which by that time had changed its name to the International Rugby Board, included the 1991 and 1994 champions in its list of previous winners. [4] It was not until the 1998 tournament held in the Netherlands that the tournament received official IRB backing, and the IRB retroactively recognised the preceding tournaments. [5] The most successful team, with five titles, is New Zealand.

History

1990s

Prior to the first Women's Rugby World Cup officially sanctioned by the International Rugby Board there had been three previous tournaments of a similar nature. The first of these was an event held in August 1990 in New Zealand. Though not considered a world cup, the tournament was referred to as the World Rugby Festival for Women. The competition included teams representing the United States, the Netherlands, Russia, and the hosts, New Zealand – who emerged as winners after defeating the United States in the final.

The first tournament referred to as the Women's Rugby World Cup was held in 1991 and hosted by Wales. Twelve countries were divided into four groups of three. The United States, against expectations, took the first championship with a 19–6 victory over England. [6] In the Plate competition Canada prevailed over Spain 18–4. Following the first tournament it was decided to move the tournament schedule to the year prior to the next men's world cup therefore reducing the quadrennial cycle to just three years.

The next event was originally scheduled to take place in Amsterdam but ended up being moved to Scotland. Eleven countries competed in the tournament with the English meeting the United States in the final for the second time however, in this instance England emerged as winners. [7]

The 1998 tournament became the first women's world cup officially sanctioned by the International Rugby Board. Amsterdam, who were originally scheduled to host the previous world cup, hosted the largest ever tournament with all matches played at the new National Rugby Centre in the city's west end. [8] The tournament also saw a record sixteen teams compete. New Zealand, who withdrew from the previous tournament, also competed. The final saw New Zealand defeat the United States and claim their first world cup title.

2000–present

The next event was taken to Spain in 2002. New Zealand won the title for the second time by defeating England 19–9 in the final.

The 2006 World Cup took place in Edmonton, Canada, and was the first major international rugby union tournament and women's world cup held in North America. New Zealand defeated England in the final to win their third successive world cup title. [9]

Logo prior to 2019 RWC Women's logo.png
Logo prior to 2019

A record four countries expressed interest in hosting the 2010 World Cup. After considering bids from England, Germany, Kazakhstan and South Africa, the IRB announced that the 2010 event would take place in England. [10] The tournament was staged in London, with the final played at the Twickenham Stoop. [11]

The 2017 World Cup was hosted by the Irish Rugby Football Union, which governs the sport on an All-Ireland basis. Games were held in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland and in Belfast in Northern Ireland. [12] [13]

New Zealand will host the next Rugby World Cup for women in 2021. [14] From 2025 the competition finals will be expanded to 16 teams, from the 12 competing in 2021. [15]

Results

Tournaments

YearHostFinalThird place matchTeams
WinnerScoreRunner-up3rd placeScore4th place
1991 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg
Wales
Flag of the United States.svg
United States
19 – 6Flag of England.svg
England
Flag of France.svg
France
Shared [16]
third
Flag of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand
12
1994 Flag of Scotland.svg
Scotland
Flag of England.svg
England
38 – 23Flag of the United States.svg
United States
Flag of France.svg
France
27 – 0Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg
Wales
12
1998 Flag of the Netherlands.svg
Netherlands
Flag of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand
44 – 12Flag of the United States.svg
United States
Flag of England.svg
England
31 – 15Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg
Canada
16
2002 Flag of Spain.svg
Spain
Flag of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand
19 – 9Flag of England.svg
England
Flag of France.svg
France
41 – 7Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg
Canada
16
2006 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg
Canada
Flag of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand
25 – 17Flag of England.svg
England
Flag of France.svg
France
17 – 8Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg
Canada
12
2010 Flag of England.svg
England
Flag of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand
13 – 10Flag of England.svg
England
Flag of Australia (converted).svg
Australia
22 – 8Flag of France.svg
France
12
2014 Flag of France.svg
France
Flag of England.svg
England
21 – 9Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg
Canada
Flag of France.svg
France
25 – 18IRFU flag.svg
Ireland
12
2017 IRFU flag.svg
Ireland
Flag of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand
41 – 32Flag of England.svg
England
Flag of France.svg
France
31 – 23Flag of the United States.svg
United States
12
2021 Flag of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand
12

Team records

TeamChampionsRunners-upThirdFourthAppearances in top 4
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 5 (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2017)1 (1991)6
Flag of England.svg  England 2 (1994, 2014)5 (1991, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2017)1 (1998)8
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 1 (1991)2 (1994, 1998)1 (2017)4
Flag of France.svg  France 6 (1991, 1994, 2002, 2006, 2014, 2017)1 (2010)7
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 1 (2010)1
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 1 (2014)3 (1998, 2002, 2006)4
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 1 (1994)1
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 1 (2014)1

Participating nations

Team 1991
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg
1994
Flag of Scotland.svg
1998
Flag of the Netherlands.svg
2002
Flag of Spain.svg
2006
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg
2010
Flag of England.svg
2014
Flag of France.svg
2017
IRFU flag.svg
2021
Flag of New Zealand.svg
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 5th7th7th3rd7th6thQ
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 5th6th4th4th4th6th2nd5thQ
Flag of England.svg  England 2nd1st3rd2nd2nd2nd1st2ndQ
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji weQ
Flag of France.svg  France 3rd3rd8th3rd3rd4th3rd3rdQ
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany w14th16the
Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong eeee12th
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 7th10th14th8th7th4th8thQ
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 8thw12th12thee9th
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 11th8th13theee11th
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan 9th9th11th11th11th12th
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 7thw13th15theee
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 3rdw1st1st1st1st5th1stQ
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 11th [lower-alpha 1] 11th16theee
Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa 9th10the11th
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 5th6th6th6th8thee
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 12th10th10thQ
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 6thw [lower-alpha 2] 7th8th9the9th10th
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 10th10th15th12the
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 1st2nd2nd5th5th5th6th4thQ
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 9th4th11th10th9th8th7th
  1. as Soviet Union
  2. replaced by Scottish Students

Q = nation qualified for Final Tournament not yet played
w = nation withdrew from (final) Tournament
e = nation eliminated in qualifying stage and did not reach Final Tournament
– = nation did not enter competition.

The following nations have participated in qualifying stages, but have never reached the Final Tournament:

Team 1991
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg
1994
Flag of Scotland.svg
1998
Flag of the Netherlands.svg
2002
Flag of Spain.svg
2006
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg
2010
Flag of England.svg
2014
Flag of France.svg
2017
IRFU flag.svg
2021
Flag of New Zealand.svg
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium ee
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia p
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic e
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland e
Flag of Kenya.svg  Kenya ep
Flag of Laos.svg  Laos e
Flag of Madagascar.svg  Madagascar e
Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg  Papua New Guinea we
Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines e
Flag of Singapore.svg  Singapore ee
Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland e
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand ee
Flag of Uganda.svg  Uganda ee

    e = nation eliminated in qualifying stage and did not reach Final Tournament
    w = nation withdrew from qualifying stage
    p = nation possibly eliminated in qualifying stage and will need to be successful in Repechage in order to reach Final Tournament
    – = nation did not enter qualifying stage competition.

    Apart from the African region, the nations involved in the continental qualifying stages have not been announced as at 20 October 2019.

    Format

    The format for the 2006 tournament split the 12 participating nations into four pools of three teams. Each nation played three games, after the completion of which a re-seeding process took place. Nations were moved into divisions dictated by their respective overall tournament ranking with the top teams proceeding to the knockout stages.

    The 2010 event maintained the number of teams participating at twelve, with regional qualifying tournaments. [17] In previous tournaments teams were selected by the IRB based on international performances as opposed to qualification via regional tournaments.

    Media coverage

    The tournament has grown considerably in the past fifteen years although television audiences and event attendance still remain relatively low, especially in comparison to other women's world cup events. The final of the 2006 event in Canada was broadcast in a number of countries and streamed live via the internet.

    Sky Sports broadcast 13 live matches from the 2010 World Cup, including the semi-finals, the third and fourth place play-off match and the final. The pool matches shown included all of England's matches, while each of the home nations' featured live too. There were also highlights shown from all other matches during the pool stages. [18]

    In Ireland the Women's Rugby World Cup was broadcast by TG4 in 2014, the Irish language channel received praise for airing the tournament. TG4 provided coverage to all of the Irish matches as well as the final and semi-final. [19]

    Certain matches in the 2017 WRWC knockout phases drew strong TV viewership in England and France, and were broadcast live in the United States. [20]

    See also

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    14. 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup bidders announced - The Women's Game, 13 June 2018
    15. Orchard, Sara (30 November 2020). "Women's Rugby World Cup to expand to 16 teams from 2025". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
    16. A third place match was played – won by France, probably by 3–0. However, the game can only be considered as "unofficial" as it was not part of the original tournament plan, and the result was not recorded in any official tournament reports. The game is also not included in NZRFU international records.
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    19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 May 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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