Rugby Australia will continue its push to further the growth of women’s Rugby in Australia after World Rugby awarded the hosting rights for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup to New Zealand early this morning (AEDT).
New Zealand won a vote of the World Rugby Council members (25-17) after a Rugby Australia bid team headed by Chief Executive, Raelene Castle and Chairman, Cameron Clyne presented the bid before the Council meeting in Dublin overnight.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle said: “On behalf of Rugby Australia I want to thank everyone who assisted with our bid for the 2021 Women’s World Cup, especially the Australian Government and New South Wales Government for their significant backing.
“We were extremely proud of our bid and believe we were set to deliver a record-breaking world class tournament which would have shined a brighter light on the women’s game than ever before.
“I also want to acknowledge the passionate support we received from Newcastle and the Hunter Valley Rugby communities behind our bid. Throughout our engagement they have epitomised the values of our game and the spirit within our Rugby communities across Australia. Our sincere gratitude also goes to the city of Newcastle, and Maitland.
“While we are naturally disappointed at today’s outcome, we are energized and excited to continue to build on the platform of growth we have set in women’s Rugby in recent years.
“We congratulate New Zealand Rugby on its successful bid, and we are sure they will deliver a fantastic tournament in what will be the first Women’s World Cup played in the Southern Hemisphere.
“While hosting the tournament here in Australia would have been the icing on the cake, we are looking forward to executing our extensive plans to accelerate growth in the women’s XVs format, from the community level right through to the Buildcorp Wallaroos,” said Castle.
Over 60,000 women and girls play all forms of Rugby in Australia, from non-contact sevens (Foxtel Touch 7s) through to the Sevens and XVs formats. The number of females playing the game has more than doubled over the past three years.
This growth has been especially evident in schools. In 2017, more than 56,000 Australian students took part in Rugby Australia’s Get into Rugby program, with 40% of those students being girls.
Females now make up around 13% of the total playing population in Australia, a figure which is projected to rise to 20-25% by 2021.
In 2018, Rugby Australia launched Super W – the first ever national competition for women’s XVs and the national team, the Buildcorp Wallaroos shared the biggest stage with their male counterparts after playing in a historic double-header with the Qantas Wallabies at ANZ Stadium in August.
In partnership with Rugby Australia, the Australian Rugby Foundation has been a significant contributor to women’s Rugby in Australia since 2015. The Foundation recently launched a 4-year fundraising campaign ‘Ensuring success on the world stage’ to raise $200,000 per year for the Buildcorp Wallaroos as they begin their preparations for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021.