World Rugby launches new global competition for women

Wednesday, 17 March 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

World Rugby has launched a new global competition to "supercharge" the women's game AFP/Adrian DENNIS

DUBLIN (AFP): World Rugby on Tuesday announced the launch of a new global women’s 15s competition to “supercharge” the sport.

The annual WXV competition, starting in 2023, will have three tiers and is aimed at raising competitiveness in the build-up to an expanded 16-team World Cup in 2025. It is being supported by an initial $ 9 million from the global governing body.

Sixteen teams will be involved and the competition will take place within a new September-October global window, except in a World Cup year.

Teams will qualify via existing annual regional competitions, such as the Women’s Six Nations. These competitions, played within a new window, must be completed by June each year. A new annual cross-region competition will be established that will act as one of the main qualification routes for the top tier of WXV. This will feature Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

The aim is to provide a regular annual international competition for these teams, where previously there was none.

There will be no promotion or relegation to the top tier in the first cycle but there will be movement between tiers two and three.

World Rugby has also announced a commercial program to boost the game. “This is a landmark moment for the sport,” said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont. “Today’s announcement of a new, global international 15s calendar will underpin the future success and accelerate the development of the women’s game.

“By establishing a unified international 15s calendar and introducing WXV we are creating a platform for the women’s international teams to compete in more consistent, competitive and sustainable competitions at regional and global level.”