Dates confirmed for Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe Qualifier
World Rugby has announced dates for the rescheduled Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe qualifier following the postponement of the tournament as a result of the ongoing global pandemic.
The winner of the RWC 2021 Europe Qualifier will secure a place at Rugby World Cup 2021, playing in 2022, in New Zealand, which takes place between 8 October–12 November, 2022.
Following its postponement last year, Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe qualifying tournament will take place on 13, 19 and 25 September, 2021 in Parma’s Stadio “Sergio Lanfranchi”, Italy, home of the Zebre Rugby Club.
Scotland will compete against Spain, Ireland and hosts Italy in a round robin format. The top team will book a spot in Group B at Rugby World Cup 2021 and the runner up will enter the Final Qualification Tournament.
Scotland Women Head Coach, Bryan Easson, said: “Despite the challenges of the past year, our goal of Rugby World Cup qualification has remained the same.
“The squad continued to work hard after the end of the Six Nations tournament in April and following a two week break in July, they have stepped up the intensity and are looking forward to another preparation camp in Largs next week.
“With the tournament on the horizon, our focus now is to turn the hard work into solid performances on the pitch.”
Rugby World Cup 2021 Tournament Director, Alison Hughes, said: “We are pleased to be able to share the details of the rescheduled Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe qualifier. The global disruption caused by COVID-19 has been frustrating for all unions still within the pathway but we appreciate the patience and flexibility shown by our unions and their efforts to ensure the qualification process can be completed safely and fairly. Next year’s Rugby World Cup is shaping up to be a truly spectacular event and we can’t wait to see the world’s top women’s 15s players take the stage in New Zealand.”
Marzio Innocenti, FIR President, said: “As FIR President I can’t and won’t hide we’re extremely proud for hosting the event, a pride I want to share with every single Italian rugby player. I’d also want to thank the Emilia-Romagna Region, the Parma’s municipality, the Zebre and the local Clubs for immediately making themselves available to host, support and make this event the best possible one for the Teams.”
Nine teams have already booked their spot for Rugby World Cup 2021, including New Zealand, England, France, Canada, USA, Australia and Wales, who qualified through their final ranking at Ireland 2017, and South Africa and Fiji who qualified through the regional qualification tournaments.
This leaves just three places available - one each through the Europe and Asia qualifiers, with the 12th and final spot to be decided at the Final Qualification Tournament.
Full match schedule for the RWC 2021 Europe qualifier and details in relation to the Final Qualification Tournament will be announced at a later stage.