New Zealand will host the Women's Rugby World Cup 2021, World Rugby has announced. It will be the first Women's Rugby World Cup in the southern hemisphere.
The competition will be hosted in Auckland and Whangarei on New Zealand’s North Island. The six week tournament will be the ninth edition of the Women’s Rugby World Cup.
Matches will be played at the 5,000 capacity Waitakere Stadium in Auckland and the Northland Events Centre in Whangarei, with a capacity of up to 20,000. As well as the 25,000 capacity Albany Stadium and Eden Park, which hosted the Rugby World Cup 2011 final.
The World Rugby selection process saw New Zealand see off competition from Australia, who organisers said also made a “strong and compelling” bid.
The tournament follows the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 in Ireland - the best attended Women’s Rugby World Cup to date with a record total attendance of 45,412.
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Women’s rugby continues to grow with over 2.4 million women and girls playing rugby at all levels, accounting for more than a quarter of players globally. With Women’s Rugby World Cup attracting record crowds and broadcast audiences in each of the last three tournaments - Ireland 2017, France 2014 and England 2010 - I am in no doubt that the 2021 tournament, the first to be held in the southern hemisphere, will continue this record breaking trend.
“I would also like to thank Australia for its exceptional bid. We hope to welcome Australia back to bid again in the future.”
New Zealand won their fifth Women's Rugby World Cup in 2017 after they beat England 41 - 32 in a pulsating final at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.