Women's Rugby League World Cup

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Women's Rugby League World Cup
Current season or competition:
2021 Women's Rugby League World Cup
SportRugby league
Number of teams8
RegionInternational (RLIF)
HoldersFlag of Australia.svg Australia (2017, 2nd title)
Most titlesNew Zealand New Zealand (3 titles)
Broadcast partnerFox Sports, Nine Network, 7mate
Related competitionRugby League World Cup

The Women's Rugby League World Cup is an international Rugby league tournament for women to determine the best Rugby league playing nation in the world. It was first held in 2000 in Great Britain coinciding with the men's Rugby League World Cup. In 2008, it was contested in Australia as part of the Festival of World Cups.


Women's Rugby League had been played in both Oceania and the United Kingdom for several years but it was not until 1985 in Britain and 1993 in Australia and New Zealand where female only organizations and governing bodies were established and while the Rugby Football League recognized the British women in 1985 it took another five years for the Australian Rugby League to officially recognize the Australian Women's Rugby League. New Zealand Women's Rugby League were officially recognized by the governing body New Zealand Rugby League Inc in 1995. This is partially the reason for no Women's World Cup being held until the year 2000 when these organizations collectively came together to organize it.

In the 2005 World Cup tournament in New Zealand, teams from Australia, Great Britain, Tokelau, Tonga, Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, New Zealand Maori and New Zealand competed for the title which was eventually taken out by the New Zealand Kiwi Ferns. New Zealand went through the tournament unbeaten with only four points against.

In the 2008 World Cup tournament, in Australia, teams from, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Samoa, Tonga, Pacific Islands, France and Russia participate in the tournament. At the completion of the 2008 World Cup the next official tournament will be held in 2013 and then held every four years after.

New Zealand won the 2008 World Cup defeating Australia 34–0 at Suncorp Stadium Brisbane.

New Zealand have won the Women's Rugby League World Cup in 2000, 2005 and 2008 competitions.

Australia won the 2013 Women's Rugby League World Cup beating the New Zealand Kiwi Ferns 22–12 in the final.


New Zealand have been the most successful team by far, winning 3 of the 4 world cups that have currently been staged. In two of the finals (2005, 2008) they would even prevent their opponents from scoring, with the 2005 final seeing a devastation of the New Zealand Maori team by 58 points.

In the first World Cup, the home nations competed as Great Britain just as they did in the men's equivalent tournament up to the expansion of the competition in 1995. Since then, England have competed in GB's place. The 2005 tournament is the only one that has not been run alongside the men's tournament, all of the others taking place at the same time and using some of the same stadiums. The 2017 final will be significant as it will be the first one to be played as a curtain-raiser to the men's final, this final taking place at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.


Year Host Winner Score Runner-up Number
of teams
2000  United Kingdom
New Zealand
Great Britain
2005  New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand Maori
2008  Australia
New Zealand
2013  England
New Zealand
2017  Australia
New Zealand
2021  England Future event TBA
2025  United States Future event TBA

Performance by nation[edit]

Team Champions Runners-up
 New Zealand 3 (2000, 2005, 2008) 2 (2013, 2017)
 Australia 2 (2013, 2017) 1 (2008)
 Great Britain 1 (2000)
New Zealand Māori 1 (2005)


The tournament runs in much the say way as international world cups in other sports as well as the men's equivalent in rugby league. From 2000 to 2008, the 8 teams were split into 2 groups of 4 with the top 2 of each group progressing through semi-final and final rounds. In 2013, the number of teams was reduced to 4 and so there was only 1 group with no semi-final round, the top 2 teams playing a final game. 2017 will be the first time that a group of 4 does not take place, this due to the fact that 6 teams are taking part in the tournament. Instead, the teams will be split into 2 groups of 3 with teams playing an inter-group game so that they have still played 3 games as in previous tournaments. The semi-final round will be brought back for this tournament with the bottom team of each group being eliminated at the first stage.

Media coverage[edit]

Television coverage for the 2017 tournament is as follows:

Country Broadcaster Matches
 Australia Seven Network[1] All 12 matches live
 New Zealand Sky Sport[2] All 12 matches live
 Papua New Guinea EMTV[3] All 12 matches live

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eoin Connolly (8 April 2016). "Channel Seven wins Rugby League World Cup TV rights". Sportspromedia.com. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  2. ^ "SKY SPORT SECURES BROADCAST RIGHTS TO WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP 2017". rlwc2017.com. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  3. ^ "EMTV SECURES BROADCAST RIGHTS TO WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP 2017". rlwc2017.com. 19 May 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2017.

External links[edit]