Rugby: New Zealand bids to host inaugural Women's XV tournament after successful World Cup

With women's rugby soaring in popularity after last month's World Cup, NZ Rugby is wasting no time in trying to capitalise.

The national body has lodged a bid with World Rugby to host the inaugural Women's XV tournament, which would see the top six teams in the world return to New Zealand for the second year in a row.

"It's our desire to host the Women's XV," NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson told Newshub. "It was going to be held in Europe, but we're looking at bringing that to New Zealand.

'WXV' is a new concept that will see the top six teams in the world compete in an annual tournament, beginning next year, as part of a plan to grow the women's game and add more meaningful matches to the calendar.

After the success of this year's World Cup, NZ Rugby wants to put itself at the front of the queue to host the first edition.

"It's a reflection of the way our teams and management performed, and broadly, a reflection of the way New Zealand embraced that tournament, and the way hearts and minds were captured," aid Robinson.

The Black Ferns continue to see, firsthand, the impact their World Cup win is having on New Zealand and retiring winger Renee Wickliffe is excited by the prospect of another major tournament at home.

Black Ferns celebrate their World Cup triumph
Black Ferns celebrate their World Cup triumph. Photo credit: Getty Images

"Just hearing you say that, wow, I’m just lost for words,” Wickcliffe told Newshub.

But NZR can't fund it all itself and is calling on the Government to help out. While a formal application for funding hasn't yet been submitted, initial conversations have begun and Robinson hopes the Government will see the value.

"Now we are able to have the conversations to unlock the potential of those six teams coming to New Zealand, but it will need a lot of partnership," Robinson said.

NZ Rugby hopes that support can bring a second major women’s tournament to New Zealand soil in consecutive years.