Women’s Rugby World Cup officially postponed to 2022

WORLD RUGBY’S RECOMMENDATION to postpone the women’s World Cup until next year has been ratified by the global governing body’s executive committee.

The decision to delay the tournament that is to be staged in New Zealand – first announced last week – was made because of the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

The committee have also agreed to develop and fund a World Cup high performance preparation and competition programme for qualified nations and those still competing in the qualification process.

“Our hearts go out to all the players, team personnel and fans who were preparing and looking forward to the World Cup this year,” World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said.

“We recognise that they will be extremely disappointed, but I would like to assure them that the decision to postpone has been made entirely in the interests of their welfare, well-being and preparation and the desire to put on a showcase tournament that will super-charge women’s rugby globally.

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“A World Cup is the best of the best, for the best of the best, and as we have seen in recent weeks, emergence of Covid-19 variants and ongoing lockdowns show that it is still a fragile global environment.

“Postponement by a year should enable us to enjoy the benefits of the global vaccination programme, easing the burden on international travel requirements and within New Zealand itself.

“I would also like to emphasise that we are unwavering in our commitment to the women’s game and we will be investing over £2million into an international competition schedule for teams to ensure they are at their best for 2022.”

Ireland have yet to secure their place at the tournament and their qualifier against Spain, originally scheduled for this coming weekend, has also been pushed back.