Leading Women’s International rugby teams have awaited confirmation of pools for the 2021 Rugby World Cup draw, and World Rugby confirmed those on Friday, November 20.
In a presentation in Auckland that included New Zealand past and present players, World Rugby confirmed the groupings and drew balls representing teams that will contest in the three pools.
The 2021 Rugby World Cup draw saw New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, together with Rugby World Cup winners Melodie Robinson, Dr Farah Palmer, and Dan Carter, draw the balls for the ninth edition of the women’s rugby showcase event. Click here for reaction from invited VIP guests.
Your pools at Rugby World Cup 2021!
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) November 19, 2020
Women’s pools announced for 2021 Rugby World Cup draw
Seven teams qualified directly for RWC 2021 courtesy of a top-seven finish at the last tournament in Ireland in 2017. Defending champions – and hosts – New Zealand, runners-up England, bronze medallists France, losing semi-finalists USA, Canada, Australia, and Wales.
Fiji and South Africa confirmed their places through the regional qualification process back in 2019, via the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup and Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship.
Reigning champions New Zealand are set to face Australia, Wales, and the Final Qualification Tournament winner in Pool A.
Pool B sees Canada set to face USA for the first time in the pool stages of a Rugby World Cup alongside Europe 1 and Asia 1.
Rugby World Cup 2017 runners-up England are drawn in Pool C alongside France, South Africa and Fiji, who are set to make their RWC debut.
The remaining three places will be filled by a qualifier from Asia and Europe together with the winner of the Final Qualification Tournament, a first for a women’s Rugby World Cup, offering a second opportunity for teams to qualify.
Note: the Rugby World Cup 2021 match schedule dates will be announced later in the year.
“Main photo credit – Phil Walter/World Rugby via Getty Images”