Rugby: Eden Park to stage women's World Cup final

Cocksedge. Photo credit: Getty

New Zealand's iconic sports venue Eden Park will host the medal rounds of the women's Rugby World Cup next year.

On Tuesday, organisers announced the country's pre-eminent sports ground in Auckland would be the venue for both semi-finals, the bronze play-off and the final on October 16.

For just the second time, the tournament decider will be played at a recognised major men's international stadium. The inaugural final was played at Cardiff Arms Park in Wales in 1991.

Eden Park staged the final of the men's World Cup in 1987 and 2011, both won by the All Blacks.

All pool matches will be played at two other venues - Auckland's Waitakere Stadium and the Northland Events Centre in Whangarei.

New Zealand was announced as host last November, seeing off Australia's bid to stage a southern hemisphere tournament for the first time.

Australia is among nine nations already qualified for the 12-country draw, which is still to be announced.

World Rugby expects the tournament, starting on September 18, to break viewership records.

"Women's rugby is the single-biggest opportunity to grow the global game and we are confident that New Zealand 2021 will be one of the great Rugby World Cups, attracting a new fan and player base for the sport," said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont.

New Zealand's Black Ferns have claimed five of the last six world titles, including a 41-32 defeat of England in the 2017 final at Belfast's Kingspan Stadium.