New Zealand confirmed as host of the inaugural WXV1 tournament

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WXV 1 is the top tier of World Rugby’s inaugural three-tiered global initiative aimed at increasing the competitiveness, reach, value and impact of the elite women’s game between Rugby World Cups and New Zealand will make history as the first host of the tournament from 21 October to 4 November.

Following a spectacular Rugby World Cup 2021 New Zealand will host the top three teams from the recently completed Six Nations - England, France and Wales – as well as the top three teams following the Pacific Four Series in July, involving the Black Ferns, Australia, USA and Canada.

Read how teams will qualify for WXV HERE.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) CEO Mark Robinson said:

“Last year’s Rugby World Cup unified and inspired our nation. We witnessed the passion, and the enjoyment Aotearoa has for the women’s game. We are thrilled to now be able to announce we will host the inaugural WXV1 Tournament here in New Zealand. This offers fans another opportunity to witness the best of women’s rugby right on their doorstep.

“We are embarking on a huge year for the Black Ferns who will play seven Tests in total and hopefully four of those Tests on home soil. It will be a challenging but exciting schedule for the team. We look forward to seeing New Zealanders throw their support behind women’s sport as New Zealand once again becomes the focal point for international women’s rugby.”

WXV1’s three match weekends will be 21 and 28 October and 4 November with venues and kick off times to be announced in the coming weeks, Robinson said.

“We saw how rugby fans responded to the Rugby World Cup last year and we have worked hard to ensure we can deliver a comprehensive Test schedule for the Black Ferns in 2023. We want to give as many Kiwis as possible, across the country, the chance to experience and be inspired by world class women’s rugby and the unique game day atmosphere.”

Rugby fans will be able to register their interest in tickets in advance to ensure they are first in line to secure seats once the final match schedule has been confirmed.

WXV1 ticket registration link CLICK HERE.

The Black Ferns Test season will kick off on 29 June, with Australia hosting the Black Ferns in the first of two O’Reilly Cup matches at Kayo Stadium in Brisbane. The Test will double as a Pacific Four Series fixture. The second O’Reilly Cup match will be played in New Zealand in September, with the venue still to be confirmed. The Black Ferns will also travel to Canada in July for final two rounds of the Pacific Four Series with the goal of qualifying for WXV1.

WXV has been structured to support and complement existing international and regional competitions, which will form the backbone of the qualification pathway. As previously announced, all qualification tournaments may start directly after the WXV window and must be completed by mid-July of each calendar year to provide certainty and preparation opportunity for teams.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said:

“We are delighted to confirm the hosts of WXV, which will debut later this year. With women and girls leading our efforts to grow the sport on a global basis, this competition will increase the reach and impact of the sport and drive the overall competitiveness of women’s international rugby as we look forward to an expanded 16-team Rugby World Cup 2025 in England and subsequent Rugby World Cups in Australia in 2029 and USA in 2033. Working with our unions, WXV provides a platform for long-term investment certainty, creates certainty of competition and a meaningful and competitive Rugby World Cup qualification pathway.”

WXV 1

WXV 1 will consist of six teams and be played in a cross-pool format. Participating teams will include the top three teams from the Women’s Six Nations (Europe) and the top three teams from the World Rugby Pacific Four Series (Rugby Americas North/Oceania). Each team will play three matches.

Sign up to Team All Blacks to be one of the first to hear more info about the tournament and when tickets will be on sale. 

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