Rugby: World Rugby confirm 2022 Women's World Cup extended to 43 days

The 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup will kick off on October 8, 2022, after COVID-19 saw the tournament postponed by a year.

World Rugby has confirmed new dates, which will see the tournament - hosted by New Zealand - extended from 35 days to 43.

The expanded calendar ensures all 12 teams receive at least five days' rest between matches, which will also be played exclusively on weekends.

The pool phase will be played over three consecutive weekends from October 8-23, with the knockout stage beginning with quarter-finals on October 29.

The semi-finals will be held on November 5, before the final seven days later.

Despite the postponement, tournament branding will still be referred to as 'Rugby World Cup 2021'.

"We are fully committed to accelerating the women's game at all levels and while the postponement was disappointing for everyone, it has provided the unique opportunity to review every aspect of the event to ensure it is the best it can be for the players, fans around the world, and the wonderful and enthusiastic New Zealanders," says World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.

"Longer rest periods between matches for all teams is a further commitment to delivering comprehensive player welfare standards at RWC 2021.

"I would like to thank all stakeholders for their support and open-minded approach to this process, and we can now look forward to a truly spectacular Rugby World Cup 2021, playing in 2022."

The Black Ferns begin their account against Australia at Eden Park and will also face Wales in pool play.