Rugby: NZ's Women's 2021 World Cup bid revealed

  • 11/08/2018
The Black Ferns are the defending World Cup champions.
The Black Ferns are the defending World Cup champions. Photo credit: Getty Images

Auckland and Whangarei have been chosen as the two cities to host games, should New Zealand Rugby (NZR) succeed in its bid to have the Black Ferns defend the Women's Rugby World cup on home soil.

The national body confirmed it has lodged a formal bid with World Rugby to host the the Women's World Cup in 2021.

If the bid succeeds, matches would be played at North Harbour Stadium, Waitakere Stadium and Toll Stadium in Northland, with Eden Park also available.

Australia confirmed its bid to host the Cup earlier in the week in the Newcastle region.

Should New Zealand or Australia get the rights to host the tournament in three years' time, it will be the first time the Women's World Cup has been played in the southern hemisphere.

France, Portugal, England and Wales were announced as the other bidding countries earlier this year.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said NZR has the backing of the Government to host the event.

"We would be thrilled for the event to be held here," she said.

"New Zealand is the home of women's rugby, the Black Ferns captured our imaginations again when they won their fifth World Cup title last year, and our entire country would get behind the tournament and all the teams participating.

"It's exciting to see the regional element to our bid. I know Northland will embrace games being held in their part of the country and their local support will be a key ingredient in its success.  

"This Government is committed to more women and girls getting involved in sports, so we are enthusiastic supporters of bringing this elite women's tournament to New Zealand and inspiring a new generation of women and girls to get involved in rugby."

NZR board member and former Black Fern Farah Palmer believes if New Zealand is successful, it could be a massive boost for the game globally.

"The 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup provides New Zealand with an opportunity to continue to grow the Black Ferns legacy, inspire women globally, encourage girls and women around the world to pick up a rugby ball and provides opportunities to develop women's rugby in the Asia-Pacific region.

"NZR is highly experienced in the operational planning and delivery of world-class events with sustainable commercial returns."

World Rugby will deliberate over the next three months, with the host nation to be announced in November.