RWC 2021 set to break new ground as tournament dates are announced

Today marks another milestone on the journey to Rugby World Cup 2021 as the tournament dates are announced at Auckland's Eden Park.
  • The dates for RWC 2021 have been announced as tournament heads to Southern Hemisphere for first time
  • Matches to be played at Waitakere Stadium, Northland Events Centre and Auckland’s Eden Park from 18 September to 16 October 2021
  • Tournament brand unveiled symbolising the power and growth of women’s rugby
  • World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont praises preparations
  • Spark Sport announced as host broadcast rightsholder

With just over 18 months to go, World Rugby and New Zealand Rugby have today marked another exciting milestone on the road to Rugby World Cup 2021 (RWC 2021) with the announcement of the tournament dates and the unveiling of the tournament brand in front of a special gathering at the venue for the final, Auckland’s Eden Park.

With the draw to be undertaken later this year, RWC 2021 matches will be played across three world-class venues - Waitakere Stadium, Whangarei’s Northland Events Centre and Auckland’s Eden Park - in what will be a significant milestone for women’s rugby in the southern hemisphere.

The pool stage of the competition will be contested across three match days – Saturday 18, Thursday 23 and Tuesday 28 September – and will be hosted at Waitakere Stadium and Whangarei’s Northland Events Centre.

The quarter-finals, which are a new addition to the women’s competition for RWC 2021, will take place on Sunday 3 October at the aforementioned venues. Eden Park will host the semi-finals on Saturday 9 October before the bronze match and RWC 2021 final will be held on Saturday 16 October. For New Zealand viewers, all games will be broadcast live and on demand by official RWC 2021 host broadcast rights holder Spark Sport, with selected games televised free-to-air.

The tournament brand unveiled today has been developed by World Rugby and New Zealand Rugby in close consultation with local cultural advisors. The RWC 2021 brand has the vitality and connectivity of the ocean’s waters at its heart and features the ‘Ngaru’ – a symbol of the ocean’s waves that surround New Zealand and the many shores that teams will travel from to compete in this ground-breaking tournament. Watch the brand video here.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont, Rugby World Cup 2021 Tournament Director Alison Hughes and General Manager of Women’s Rugby Kate Sadleir are in New Zealand for venue visits to help the host venues and host cities prepare for the southern hemisphere’s first hosting of the showcase tournament.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Women’s rugby is the single-biggest opportunity to grow the global game, and we are confident that New Zealand 2021 will be one of the great Rugby World Cups, attracting a new fan and player base for the sport.

“RWC 2021 follows a hugely successful 2017 event in Ireland which broke attendance and broadcast records, having a hugely positive impact on women’s rugby. Last year we successfully launched ‘Try and Stop Us’, a campaign that aims to drive increased participation and engagement among fans, audiences, players and investors in the women’s game.

"It is a privilege to be here in New Zealand and to see the huge amount of work that has already gone into ensuring this will be another spectacular tournament for the world’s best women’s teams.”

NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson welcomed the World Rugby officials to Eden Park today, marking a key milestone in the logistical preparation required for hosting one of World Rugby’s pinnacle events.

“This is an event we are very excited to be hosting and we can’t wait to have the world’s best women’s teams play here. The Black Ferns love playing at home and I know they are excited at the prospect of retaining the Rugby World Cup at home.

“Together with the support from Central Government, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, and Whangarei District Council we are committed to working alongside World Rugby to deliver an exciting event that continues to grow the game and deliver benefits for rugby in New Zealand and globally.

“As part of the bid team that presented to World Rugby in Dublin in 2018, it is now a real privilege to continue to be involved in the delivery of the tournament and to see preparations come to life.

“We share World Rugby’s global ambition of getting more, women and girls involved in rugby and RWC 2021 is a great way to showcase women’s rugby at an elite level and provide inspiration for boys and girls to get involved in our game,” Robinson said.

RWC 2021 will be the first RWC to adopt a gender-neutral naming approach after World Rugby announced last year that its flagship 15s and sevens RWC properties will no longer include gender in their titles, furthering its commitment to equality and brand consistency across its portfolio.

Beaumont added: “We are proud that RWC has adopted a gender-neutral naming approach to its properties – a bold and important move – and we are looking forward to seeing this come to life following the unveiling of the tournament brand here in Auckland today.”

RWC 2021 Organising Committee Chair Dame Julie Christie said: “New Zealand Rugby is highly experienced in the operational planning and delivery of world class events with sustainable commercial returns and plans are already well on track to make RWC 2021 an outstanding event.”

The event was held at Eden Park with Black Ferns Kendra Cocksedge, Aleisha-Pearl Nelson, Charmaine McMenamin, Ruahei Demant and Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu running a skills and drills session with children from Birkdale Primary, Ahuroa School, Horizon School and Woodhill School.

The RWC 2021 supports World Rugby’s Women’s Plan 2017-25, NZR’s Women’s Rugby Strategy and the New Zealand Government’s Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation Strategy.

Last updated: Jun 15, 2020 1:06:23 PM
England v New Zealand - Rugby World Cup 2019: Semi-Final
World rankings Women's Men's Feature News Women in Rugby
The World Rugby Rankings in numbers
We take a look at some of the eye-catching numbers from the World Rugby Rankings in both the men’s and women’s game.
Photo of captain Babalwa Latsha playing for South Africa against Scotland
Feature News Women in Rugby women-news-power
Flying the flag for women’s rugby: Babalwa Latsha, the first African women’s player to go professional
Springbok women’s captain Babalwa Latsha made history when she became the first African women’s rugby player to turn professional in January 2020. Here she shares her rugby journey and hopes for the growth and development of the women’s game.
Rio 2016: France and Spain women run out at Deodoro Stadium on day one
Olympics Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby Women-news-sevens
Rugby at the Olympics: Creating sevens history at Rio 2016
Patricia Garcia, Jade Ulutule and Pierre Gilles Lakafia talk to World Rugby about Rio 2016 and their roles in the first men’s and women’s sevens matches to be played at an Olympic Games.
World Rugby logo - one to use for generic releases
Media release Women's Men's News Tournament News Women in Rugby mz-advisory
International rugby set to resume in October as World Rugby Council approves temporary 2020 COVID-19 calendar
An exciting programme of international matches is set to take place later this year after the World Rugby Council approved a temporary adjustment to Regulation 9 to accommodate the release of international players for revised 2020 windows.
Men's Media release Women's Sevens News Tournament News Women in Rugby mz-advisory Challenger Series wr-covid19
Plans revised for HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021
World Rugby and its partners are continuing to focus on planning for the 2021 Series and the build-up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which are now less than one year away
HSBC Sydney Sevens 2020 - Women's
Olympics Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby Women-news-sevens
One Year To Go: Japan hope to establish sevens culture through Tokyo 2020
Kensuke Iwabuchi and Hitoshi Inada talk to World Rugby about their hope that the Olympic Games will leave a lasting legacy of sevens in Japan.
Barbarians Women Training
Women's Rugby World Cup News Tournament News Women in Rugby women-news-2021
Wales and Bristol Bears’ Elinor Snowsill on life as a gay woman in rugby
The fly-half opens up about her journey through the game and states why “it’s still really important” to talk about LGBTQ+ issues today.
Iran - Germany women
Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby women-news-regions
How women are changing the game in Iranian rugby
We take a look at the history of rugby union in Iran, a country where more women play the sport than men.
Rugby - Olympics: Day 6
Olympics Women's Sevens News Tournament News Women in Rugby Women-news-sevens
One Year To Go: Looking ahead to Tokyo 2020
As the countdown to the Tokyo Olympic Games begins in earnest, we take a look at the frontrunners, the most-improved teams and those set to make their debut.
World Rugby logo - one to use for generic releases
Media release Women's Men's News Tournament News Women in Rugby mz-advisory
World Rugby Executive Committee recommends 2020 temporary COVID-19 international calendar
The World Rugby Executive Committee has today recommended a revised temporary 2020 international calendar with the express objective of optimising recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for the betterment of the global game at all levels.