Women's Rugby World Cup

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Not to be confused with Women's Rugby League World Cup.
Women's Rugby World Cup
Current season or competition:
2014 Women's Rugby World Cup
Sport Rugby union
Instituted 1991
Number of teams 12
Region Worldwide (International Rugby Board)
Holders  England (2 Titles)
Most titles  New Zealand (4 titles)
Website www.rwcwomens.com/

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 the International Rugby Board (IRB). The championships are currently held every four years the event was most recently held in France in August 2014.[1]

The first Women's Rugby World Cup was held in 1991, and won by the United States, though it and the subsequent 1994 competition were not officially sanctioned by the IRB at the time - they later received retrospective endorsement in 2009 when the IRB included the 1991 and 1994 champions in its list of previous winners.[2] It was not until the 1998 tournament held in the Netherlands that the tournament received official IRB backing.[3] The most successful team, with four titles, are New Zealand.

History[edit]

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.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6] 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, where New Zealand, won the title for the second time. 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.[7]

In 2008 a record four countries expressed interest in hosting the 2010 world cup. After considering bids from the Rugby Football Union, the German Rugby Federation, the Kazakhstan Rugby Union and South African Rugby Union the IRB announced that the 2010 event would take place in England.[8] The Rugby Football Union for Women (RFUW) then announced that the tournament was to be staged in west London, with the final to be played at the Twickenham Stoop.[9]

Results[edit]

Tournaments[edit]

Year Host Final Third place match Number of teams
Winner Score Runner-up 3rd place Score 4th place
1991
Details
Wales
Wales

United States
19 – 6
England

France
Shared[10]
third

New Zealand
12
1994
Details
Scotland
Scotland

England
38 – 23
United States

France
27 – 0
Wales
12
1998
Details
Netherlands
Netherlands

New Zealand
44 – 12
United States

England
31 – 15
Canada
16
2002
Details
Spain
Spain

New Zealand
19 – 9
England

France
41 – 7
Canada
16
2006
Details
Canada
Canada

New Zealand
25 – 17
England

France
17 – 8
Canada
12
2010
Details
England
England

New Zealand
13 – 10
England

Australia
22 – 8
France
12
2014
Details
France
France

England
21 – 9
Canada

France
25 – 18
Ireland
12

Performance of nations[edit]

Team Champion Runner-up Third Fourth
 New Zealand 4 (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010) 1 (1991)
 England 2 (1994, 2014) 4 (1991, 2002, 2006, 2010) 1 (1998)
 United States 1 (1991) 2 (1994, 1998)
 Canada 1 (2014) 3 (1998, 2002, 2006)
 France 5 (1991, 1994, 2002, 2006, 2014) 1 (2010)
 Australia 1 (2010)
 Wales 1 (1994)
 Ireland 1 (2014)


Format[edit]

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.[11] In previous tournaments teams were selected by the IRB based on international performances as opposed to qualification via regional tournaments.

Media coverage[edit]

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.

On 29 July 2010, Sky Sports confirmed that they would be broadcasting 13 live matches from the 2010 event, including the semi-finals, the third and fourth place play-off match and the final. The pool matches shown would include all of England's matches while each of the home nations' would feature live too. There would also be highlights shown from all other matches during the pool stages.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "France to Host 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup". WRWC. p. 1. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  2. ^ IRB press release
  3. ^ "Women's Rugby World Cup". RugbyFootballHistory.com. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  4. ^ "Women's Rugby World Cup – History". BBC Sport. 2002-05-13. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  5. ^ "1994 Women's Rugby World Cup – results". Uniweb. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-14. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Rugby Femenino (Women's Rugby)". Iespena.es. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  7. ^ "New Zealand retain crown". International Rugby Board. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-14. [dead link]
  8. ^ Woods, Penny (2008-11-12). "Women's rugby looking to sidestep the doubters". The Guardian (London). p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  9. ^ "History of the Women's Rugby World Cup". p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "England to host Women's Rugby World Cup". rugbyheaven.co.nz. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-15. 
  12. ^ "WRWC live on Sky!". Sky Sports. 2010-08-20. 

External links[edit]