Rugby World Cup is one of the world’s most popular sport’s brands, the pinnacle 15s event in men’s and women’s rugby union, held every four years and contested by the best international teams in the world. It is run by World Rugby, the game’s global governing body, and the men’s tournament provides the finances to fund the global game.
The term Rugby World Cup is the gender neutral name of the tournaments, with World Rugby having announced in August 2019 that the two events would no longer be known as Rugby World Cup and Women’s Rugby World Cup.
The men’s Rugby World Cup is one of the world’s biggest and most popular major events. It was first held in 1987 in Australia and New Zealand and most recently hosted in Asia for the first time with Japan welcoming the world to its shores in 2019. The next tournament will take place in France from 8 September-28 October, 2023.
Rugby World Cup 2021 was due to welcome the world's finest women's players to New Zealand in 2021 but World Rugby confirmed in March 2021 that the tournament would be postponed until 2022. As a result, the tournament will now be played from 8 October to 12 November, 2022, with matches to be played in three venues across Auckland and Whangārei.
The ninth edition and the first to be held in the southern hemisphere, New Zealand 2021 will also be the second tournament held outside of Europe, having first been held in Wales in 1991 followed by Scotland (1994), the Netherlands (1998), Spain (2002), Canada (2006), England (2010), France (2014) and Ireland (2017).
The showpiece event in women’s rugby union 15s, Rugby World Cup 2021 will again feature 12 teams – seven of whom qualified directly via their performances at Ireland 2017 and five from a global qualification process – with 26 matches played across 35 days.