Black Ferns to open World Cup at Eden Park

Fiao'o Faamausili holds the World Cup after the Black Ferns' win last year. Photo: Getty Images
Fiao'o Faamausili holds the World Cup after the Black Ferns' last World Cup win. Photo: Getty Images
The Black Ferns are set to open their World Cup defence at Eden Park.

World Rugby and New Zealand Rugby confirmed this morning next year's Cup will begin both in Auckland and Whangarei's Northland Events Centre.

They will host six matches across the opening day - exactly one year from today.

The remaining pool matches will be played on Thursday September 23 and the following Tuesday at Waitakere Stadium and Northland Events Centre.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “The countdown is on with just one year to go until the women’s edition of the Rugby World Cup kicks off in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time in its history.

"While taking into account the unique and challenging circumstances caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, planning is progressing very well and hosts New Zealand are on course to supercharge the women’s game, welcoming the world’s best teams to what we know will be an exciting and exceptional tournament. 2021 is set to be a special year for women’s rugby as it takes centre stage.”

Rugby World Cup 2021 Tournament Director Michelle Hooper said it would be extra special for both teams and fans to have the opening match to be held at Eden Park.

“Eden Park holds a special place in rugby history, not just in New Zealand but around the world. Players from across the globe aspire to play there and fans want to witness a match there. It will set the scene for what will be an exciting event for rugby.

Hooper said while the One Year To Go milestone marked the beginning of the official countdown, extensive work had been going on behind the scenes to ensure the tournament would showcase the best rugby in the world.

“Despite the challenges being faced by the global pandemic, the organising team are focused, on track and determined to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime Rugby World Cup. Rugby is at the heart of New Zealand communities and the opportunity to ‘supercharge’ the women’s game will inspire a generation of young people to strive to achieve their goals.

“The world’s best high-performance rugby players want to play here, and New Zealanders are ready to host them, and showcase our manaakitanga on the world-stage. We're proud hosts and we're encouraging everyone who is keen to volunteer to join our team to deliver the biggest celebration and festival of rugby in 2021. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Hooper said.

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