(31 May 2021) The opening match of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 will take place at Eden Park on Saturday, 8 October 2022 with South Africa versus France at 14:15 NZT.
The tournament opener will be followed by the other Pool C match, England versus Fiji, at 16:45 NZT.
The hosts and reigning champions New Zealand will take on Australia at 19:15 NZT in primetime evening position, with organisers hoping to set a new attendance record.
The following day will be hosted at Northlands Events Centre in Whangarei and will see USA taking on the Europe 1 qualifier at 12:45 local time, followed by Canada versus the Asia 1 qualifier at 15:15 NZT with the day closed out as Wales face the Final Qualification Tournament winner at 17:45 NZT.
France will take on England on match-day three at 20:00 NZT at Northlands Events Centre in Whangarei and USA are billed to face Canada on match-day six at 15:15 NZT at Waitakere Stadium.
The top two teams in each pool and the two best third-placed teams will progress to the quarter-finals.
Teams will be seeded one to eight based on the position they finished in their respective pools and most competition points scored, with the quarter finals seeing teams paired as follows: seed 1 v seed 8, seed 2 v seed 7, seed 3 v seed 6 and seed 4 v seed 5.
The first two quarter-finals will take place on Saturday, 29 October at Northland Events Centre with Waitakere Stadium hosting the remaining two matches a day later.
With the 12-team format requiring seeding of teams after the pool stages, the quarter final fixtures will be allocated into scheduled slots immediately following match day six. Should hosts New Zealand progress to the quarter-finals it is confirmed that the Black Ferns and their opponents will close out quarter-final day 1 at Northlands Events Centre.
The 44,000-capacity Eden Park will host the semi-finals on Saturday, 5 November and the bronze final and RWC 2021 final on Saturday, 12 November.
New Zealand RWC 2021 Tournament Director, Michelle Hooper, said, “We are hugely excited about the opportunity to share Aotearoa’s famous manaakitanga (hospitality) with the world, inviting all rugby fans to travel to our shores. Now the match schedule has been released, we can feel the excitement building, and can sense the wave of support as fans from all walks of life get behind the tournament. We have an incredible opening match day at Eden Park on Saturday October 8th, including Fiji’s first match at a women’s world cup against former champions England, and an exhilarating trans-tasman rivalry between old foes, New Zealand and Australia as the final match. We can’t wait to create an un-forgettable moment for women’s sport, filling Eden Park and striving to break the world record for women’s rugby world cup attendance on day one!”