- RWC 2021 Europe Qualifier to be hosted by Italy on 13, 19 and 25 September, 2021
- Italy, Spain, Ireland and Scotland will compete for the Europe 1 place in RWC 2021 Pool B
- Runner up will progress to the Final Qualification Tournament
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.
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.
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.
Hosts Italy will compete against Ireland, Scotland and the winners of Rugby Europe’s Women’s Championship 2020, Spain, 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.
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 our rugby looks forward to its full restart while actively supporting the vaccination campaign, the RWC 2021 Europe qualifier sets a terrific chance for keep on promoting the Game in our country. I would like to extend a warm welcome to the local Clubs for making themselves available to host the Teams on their fields. We are committed to make our community game evolve and this event will allow our Clubs to grow and develop themselves. On behalf of the Board, I also thanks the local administration of Parma, the Regione Emilia Romagna and all the stakeholders that will be supporting the event. We’re glad World Rugby has accepted our bid for hosting the qualification tournament and we’re committed to grant the Teams and the fans a safe and exciting event which will be allowing Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Spain to compete for a spot at next year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Italy has climbed Women’s ranking up to the fifth place this year and I wish the ladies and their staff the very best ahead of September’s tournament in Parma and everybody at FIR confident they will book their tickets to New Zealand”.
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.