Women's Rugby World Cup

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Women's Rugby World Cup
Most recent tournament
2017 Women's Rugby World Cup
SportRugby union
InstitutedApril 6, 1991; 27 years ago (1991-04-06)
Number of teams12
RegionsWorldwide (World Rugby)
Holders New Zealand (5 Titles)
Most titles New Zealand (5 titles)
Websitewww.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, 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 Olympics and Women's World Cup Sevens; World Cups will thus be held every four years after 2017.[2]

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.[3] It was not until the 1998 tournament held in the Netherlands that the tournament received official IRB backing.[4] The most successful team, with five titles, is New Zealand.

History[edit]

1990s[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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] 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[edit]

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.[8]

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.[9] The tournament was staged in London, with the final played at the Twickenham Stoop.[10]

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.[11][12]

For the 2021 edition, New Zealand, will host the next Women's Rugby World Cup.[13]

Results[edit]

Tournaments[edit]

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

United States
19 – 6
England

France
Shared[14]
third

New Zealand
12
1994 Scotland
Scotland

England
38 – 23
United States

France
27 – 0
Wales
12
1998 Netherlands
Netherlands

New Zealand
44 – 12
United States

England
31 – 15
Canada
16
2002 Spain
Spain

New Zealand
19 – 9
England

France
41 – 7
Canada
16
2006 Canada
Canada

New Zealand
25 – 17
England

France
17 – 8
Canada
12
2010 England
England

New Zealand
13 – 10
England

Australia
22 – 8
France
12
2014 France
France

England
21 – 9
Canada

France
25 – 18
Ireland
12
2017 Republic of Ireland
Ireland

New Zealand
41 – 32
England

France
31 – 23
United States
12
2021 New Zealand
New Zealand
12

Participating nations[edit]

Team 1991
Wales
1994
Scotland
1998
Netherlands
2002
Spain
2006
Canada
2010
England
2014
France
2017
Republic of Ireland
2021
New Zealand
0
 Australia 5th 7th 7th 3rd 7th 6th Q
 Canada 5th 6th 4th 4th 4th 6th 2nd 5th Q
 England 2nd 1st 3rd 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 2nd Q
 France 3rd 3rd 8th 3rd 3rd 4th 3rd 3rd Q
 Germany 14th 16th
 Hong Kong 12th
 Ireland 7th 10th 14th 8th 7th 4th 8th Q
 Italy 8th 12th 12th 9th
 Japan 11th 8th 13th 11th
 Kazakhstan 9th 9th 11th 11th 11th 12th
 Netherlands 7th 13th 15th
 New Zealand 4th 3rd 1st 1st 1st 1st 5th 1st Q
 Russia 11th[a] 11th 16th
 Samoa 9th 10th 11th
 Scotland 5th 6th 6th 6th 8th
 South Africa 12th 10th 10th
 Spain 6th 7th 8th 9th 9th 10th
 Sweden 10th 10th 15th 12th
 United States 1st 2nd 2nd 5th 5th 5th 6th 4th Q
 Wales 9th 4th 11th 10th 9th 8th 7th

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.[15] 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.

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.[16]

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.[17]

Certain matches in the 2017 WRWC knockout phases drew strong TV viewership in England and France, and were broadcast live in the United States.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "France to Host 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup". WRWC. p. 1. Archived from the original on 28 January 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  2. ^ "Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 tender process opens" (Press release). World Rugby. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  3. ^ IRB press release Archived 2 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Women's Rugby World Cup". RugbyFootballHistory.com. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
  5. ^ "Women's Rugby World Cup – History". BBC Sport. 2002-05-13. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
  6. ^ "1994 Women's Rugby World Cup – results". Uniweb. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-14.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Rugby Femenino (Women's Rugby)". Iespena.es. p. 1. Archived from the original on 19 December 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
  8. ^ "New Zealand retain crown". International Rugby Board. p. 1. Archived from the original on 23 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
  9. ^ Woods, Penny (2008-11-12). "Women's rugby looking to sidestep the doubters". The Guardian. London. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
  10. ^ "History of the Women's Rugby World Cup". p. 1. Archived from the original on 12 December 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
  11. ^ Ryan, Padraic (13 May 2015). "Ireland to host 2017 Women's World Cup". RTÉ Sport. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  12. ^ "2017 Womens Rugby World Cup to be held in Ireland".
  13. ^ 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup bidders announced - The Women's Game, 13 June 2018
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "England to host Women's Rugby World Cup". rugbyheaven.co.nz. p. 1. Archived from the original on 17 October 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
  16. ^ "WRWC live on Sky!". Sky Sports. 2010-08-20.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 May 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-19.
  18. ^ "The rugby gender divide is too real", 18 September 2017.

External links[edit]