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Organisers aim for New Zealand’s women’s Rugby World Cup to set match attendance records
Rugby World Cup 2021 has announced that it aims to break the record for attendance at a women’s Rugby World Cup tournament, boosted by matches including hosts and reigning champions New Zealand taking on Australia at Eden Park on the opening day on 18th September, capping an exciting triple bill of matches at the Auckland venue.
With teams and fans at the heart of tournament planning, the match schedule has been developed to maximise the advancement of women’s rugby on the world stage. Eden Park, venue for the men’s final in 1987 and 2011, Northland Events Centre in WhangÄrei and Waitakere Stadium will provide the perfect stages to draw thousands of fans with attractive ticketing and entertainment programmes.
The 44,000 capacity Eden Park will also host the semi-finals on Saturday 9th October and the bronze final and RWC 2021 final on Saturday 16th October, giving fans plenty of opportunities to be part of something special and make women’s rugby history.
Reflecting the history-making theme, RWC 2021 will see the return of a quarter-final stage, while longer rest periods between match days and expanded squad sizes will enable the world’s top teams to perform at their best on the greatest stage for rugby.
The 12 teams will compete across three action-packed days of pool matches, Saturday 18th, Thursday 23rd and Tuesday 28th September, with games to be played at Eden Park, Northlands Events Centre in WhangÄrei and Waitakere Stadium.
Seeing considerable momentum building leading into the final months before Rugby World Cup 2021 kicks off, World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont advised "with less than eight months to go until Rugby World Cup 2021 kicks off in New Zealand, anticipation and excitement is really starting to build for fans and players worldwide. There is a very real, unstoppable momentum building behind the rise of women in rugby now and 2021 will be a year like no other, providing a unique opportunity to continue to accelerate the growth and profile of the sport, as women’s rugby rightly is set to own centre stage this year."
Rugby World Cup 2021 Tournament Director Michelle Hooper said that with the announcement of the match schedule, anticipation of the tournament and the hotly contested action it will deliver, is expected to build significantly.
Hooper explained “we are so proud in New Zealand to be hosting the biggest women’s sporting event in the world this year. Our team is developing a robust platform on which to deliver an incredible tournament that will draw greater attention to women’s rugby than ever before. For the fans here in New Zealand and the global audience tuning in to watch via the international broadcast, we are excited to have such a compelling and exhilarating mix of match contestants in the opening weekend.
"It will give fans a taste of the excitement from the first kick-off and have them hooked to attend or watch every match of the tournament, in a schedule that promises to deliver an action-packed and intense competition. In addition, several of the participating teams will be playing in the same venues as their male counterparts did during Rugby World Cup 2011, and our local communities are set to welcome all nations back with open arms and provide them with the maanakitaanga of New Zealand and its people."
RWC 2021 will see the addition of a quarter-finals stage and longer rest periods between matches which increases the total tournament window from 23 to 35 days and an increased squad size from 28 to 30 players. The changes reflect World Rugby’s commitment to player welfare and to accelerate the development of the women’s game.
Images: The Black Ferns in 2018 (top), Eden Park (middle) and World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont (below).
15th January 2021 - Eden Park makes history by gaining rights to stage concerts
4th December 2020 - Devotees get the chance to take home a part of Eden Park’s hallowed turf
17th October 2020 - Eden Park prepares for Sunday’s Bledisloe Cup clash
30th June 2020 - World Rugby cancels remainder of Sevens season
17th April 2020 - World Rugby announces US$100 million global relief package
4th February 2020 - Schedule and venues announced for 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup
23rd November 2019 - Rugby World Cup drives enhanced global fan interest for the first time since 2007
20th June 2019 - World Rugby scraps plans for new Nations Championship
16th November 2018 - New Zealand secures 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup hosting
13th August 2018 - New Zealand Rugby submits bid to host Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021
29th April 2017 - Tokyo 2020 and Rugby World Cup 2019 organisers join forces
25th May 2014 - IRB to expand Women’s Rugby World Cup
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