|Most recent tournament|
|Instituted||6 April 1991|
|Number of teams||12|
|Regions||Worldwide (World Rugby)|
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.World Rugby has reset the tournament on a new four-year cycle to avoid conflict with the Olympics and Women's World Cup Sevens; World Cups will thus be held every four years after 2017.
Rugby union, widely known simply as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end.
World Rugby is the world governing body for the sport of rugby union. World Rugby organises the Rugby World Cup every four years, the sport's most recognised and most profitable competition. It also organises a number of other international rugby competitions, such as the World Rugby Sevens Series, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, the World Under 20 Championship, and the Pacific Nations Cup.
Rugby sevens at the Summer Olympics was played for the first time at the 2016 Summer Olympics with both men's and women's contests. Rugby sevens was added to the Olympics following the decision of the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen in October 2009. The champions for the inaugural rugby sevens tournament in 2016 were Fiji for the men and Australia for the women.
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 included the 1991 and 1994 champions in its list of previous winners.It was not until the 1998 tournament held in the Netherlands that the tournament received official IRB backing. The most successful team, with five titles, is New Zealand.
The 1991 Women's Rugby World Cup was the first Women's Rugby World Cup. The tournament was not approved by the International Rugby Board (IRB), yet it still went ahead despite the disapproval of the sports governing body. France confirmed their participation only minutes before the draw was made on 26 February. Representatives of the IRB, WRFU and RFU attended the final, but it was not until 2009 that the IRB officially endorsed the event as a "world cup" when it published, for the first time, a list of previous winners in a press release.
The United States women's national rugby union team was officially formed in 1987. The team is known as the Eagles.
The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe with some overseas territories. In Europe, it consists of twelve provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba—it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.
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.
Rugby union is the unofficial national sport of New Zealand. The national team, the All Blacks, ranks as the top international team in the world. The sport has been known in New Zealand from 1870. The top domestic competitions are the semi-professional ITM Cup and amateur Heartland Championship, and above them Super Rugby, in which New Zealand has five franchises. The country co-hosted and won the first ever Rugby World Cup in 1987, and hosted and won the 2011 Rugby World Cup. They are the current world champions for men and women. They are also the current World Champions in 7s rugby for men and women.
RugbyFest 1990 was a two-week festival of women's rugby, held in Christchurch, New Zealand between 19 August and 1 September 1990. The event has been inflated sometimes to the status of a mini-world cup. In reality with only four teams taking part, and lacking major nations such as France, England and Canada, it was never that. However it was still a significant step forward – the first ever world-wide multi-regional women's rugby tournament. Held only eight years after the first women's international it was a sign of how much the game had already expanded.
The Netherlands women's national rugby union team are a national sporting side of Netherlands, representing them at rugby union. The side first played in 1982.
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.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.
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.
The England women's national rugby union team first played in 1982. England were the 2014 Rugby World Cup champions after beating Canada in the final. Their coach is Simon Middleton after their coach Gary Street, who had been head coach since 2006, contract wasn't renewed. Street now coaches Harlequins Ladies.
The Canada women's national rugby union team is governed by Rugby Canada, and plays in red and black. They were ranked 5th in World Rugby's inaugural women's rankings and are currently ranked as the second best team in the world.
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.
Amsterdam is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands, with a population of 866,737 within the city proper, 1,380,872 in the urban area, and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area. Amsterdam is in the province of North Holland.
The Scotland women's national rugby union team has competed in five of the Women's Rugby World Cups and have an important role in the rugby world stage. The governing body in Scotland for women's rugby is Scottish Rugby.Clare Cribbes was the youngest player to ever play for Scotland in a World Cup
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.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.
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.
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.The tournament was staged in London, with the final played at the Twickenham Stoop.
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.
For the 2021 edition, New Zealand, will host the next Women's Rugby World Cup.
|Year||Host||Final||Third place match||Number of teams|
|Winner||Score||Runner-up||3rd place||Score||4th place|
|19 – 6|
|38 – 23|
|27 – 0|
|44 – 12|
|31 – 15|
|19 – 9|
|41 – 7|
|25 – 17|
|17 – 8|
|13 – 10|
|22 – 8|
|21 – 9|
|25 – 18|
|41 – 32|
|31 – 23|
|Team|| 1991 || 1994 || 1998 || 2002 || 2006 || 2010 || 2014 || 2017 || 2021 |
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.In previous tournaments teams were selected by the IRB based on international performances as opposed to qualification via regional tournaments.
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.
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.
Certain matches in the 2017 WRWC knockout phases drew strong TV viewership in England and France, and were broadcast live in the United States.
The Rugby World Cup is a men's rugby union tournament contested every four years between the top international teams. The tournament was first held in 1987, when the tournament was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.
The Churchill Cup was an annual rugby union tournament, held in June, contested by representative men's teams from Canada, England, the United States, and other invited teams from a wide array of countries.
The Rugby World Cup Sevens is the premier stand-alone international rugby sevens competition outside the Olympic Games. The event is contested every four years, with tournaments for men's and women's national teams co-hosted at the same venues. It is organised by World Rugby, the sport's governing body.
The 2011 Rugby World Cup was the seventh Rugby World Cup, a quadrennial international rugby union competition inaugurated in 1987. The International Rugby Board (IRB) selected New Zealand as the host country in preference to Japan and South Africa at a meeting in Dublin on 17 November 2005. The tournament was won by New Zealand, who defeated France 8–7 in the final. The defending champions, South Africa, were eliminated by Australia 11–9 in the quarter-finals. The result marked the third time that the tournament was won by the country that hosted the event.
The New Zealand national women's rugby union team, called the Black Ferns, represents New Zealand in women's rugby union, which is regarded as the country's national sport. The team has won five of the past six Women's Rugby World Cups.
The 2006 Women's Rugby World Cup took place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The tournament began on 31 August and ended on 17 September 2006. The 2006 tournament was the third World Cup approved by the IRB, the previous two being held 2002 in Spain and in the Netherlands, in 1998. The Black Ferns of New Zealand won the 2006 World Cup, defeating England in the final, as they had in 2002. It was New Zealand's third successive title.
The 2015 Rugby World Cup was the eighth Rugby World Cup, the quadrennial rugby union world championship. The tournament was hosted by England from 18 September to 31 October. Of the 20 countries competing in the World Cup in 2011, there was only one change: Uruguay replaced Russia. This was the first World Cup with no new teams to the tournament.
The 2009 Rugby Sevens World Cup was the fifth edition of the Rugby World Cup Sevens. The International Rugby Board (IRB) selected Dubai in the United Arab Emirates as the host venue for the tournament ahead of bids from four other countries. The format included nine direct qualifiers and a further fifteen qualifiers from all six regions defined by the IRB. A women's version of the world cup was also held alongside the men's tournament for the first time and featured sixteen teams. The men's cup was won by Wales, with the women's cup going to Australia.
The Rugby World Cup host nation is selected by World Rugby at a special meeting six years in advance of the tournament. The choice of host nation is a highly anticipated event. The original idea of hosting a Rugby World Cup was brought up by Australia when they floated the idea of hosting such an event for the centenary celebrations of rugby union in Australia.
The 2010 Women's Rugby World Cup was the sixth edition of the Women's Rugby World Cup and was held in England. The International Rugby Board Executive Committee selected the host union following a recommendation from the Rugby World Cup Limited board after considering bids from the Rugby Football Union and the German Rugby Union – it had been England's third successive bid after being rejected in 2002 and 2006. The tournament was again being organised by the International Rugby Board (IRB) as opposed to the host union, and included five matches for all teams played on 20, 24, 28 August and 1 and 5 September. In May 2009 it was announced that the semi final, 3rd place play off and final would take place at The Stoop and not Twickenham as had previously been suggested. Pool games were held at the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford.
The England Under 20 rugby team are the newest representative rugby union team from England. They replace the two former age grade teams Under 19s and Under 21s. They compete in the annual Six Nations Under 20s Championship and World Rugby Under 20 Championship.
The 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup was the seventh edition of the Women's Rugby World Cup, and the sixth held in Europe. The World Cup Final took place on August 17.
The 2012 autumn internationals, also known as the autumn tests, November tests and, in the Southern Hemisphere, the end of year tests, were international rugby union matches. They were predominantly played between visiting Southern Hemisphere countries and European nations.
The 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens was the seventh edition of the Rugby World Cup Sevens. Organised by World Rugby, it was held at AT&T Park, now known as Oracle Park, in San Francisco, United States. A total of 84 matches were played over three days from July 20–22, 2018. The men’s tournament had 24 teams and the women’s tournament 16, with both tournaments being played for the first time in a knock-out only format. New Zealand won the championship for both events — defeating England in the men's final and France in the women's final.
The 2021 Rugby World Cup is scheduled to be the ninth Women's Rugby World Cup, to be held in New Zealand. This will be the first time ever the Women's Rugby World Cup is held in the southern hemisphere. The eighth World Cup was played in 2017 in Dublin and Belfast setting record attendances and viewership numbers.