By Tara Rippin • 03 March 2021 • 10:06
Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand is to be postponed until 2020.
THE decision to push back the tournament has been made after the sport’s global governing body said on Tuesday, March 2, it was difficult to host the event as planned due to uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
A final decision to postpone the ninth edition of the tournament – which was due to take place in Auckland and Whangarei from September 18 to October 16 – is expected to be made next week.
This is when the Rugby World Cup Board and World Rugby Executive Committee will meet to consider World Rugby’s recommendation.
“While we understand that the recommendation is extremely disappointing to teams and supporters, it is taken into consideration with them, and will give the tournament the best chance of being all that it can be for them, the New Zealanders and the global rugby family,” said World Rugby in a statement.
“The recommendation is based on the evolution of the uncertain and challenging global panorama of Covid-19. It was made clear in recent meetings with our key partners, including New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Government, and participating unions that, given the scale of the event and the lack of certainty related to COVID-19, it is simply not possible to generate the scope so that all teams can give their best on the biggest stage of sport.”
World Rugby said challenges include the uncertainty and difficulty for teams to properly prepare for a tournament like Rugby World Cup, both before and upon arrival in New Zealand, along with challenging travel restrictions around the world.
“World Rugby can assure teams, New Zealanders and the global rugby family that the recommendation to postpone the tournament will help ensure that the Rugby World Cup is all that it can be for players, supporters and the rugby family – one of the best Rugby World Cups,” it added.
“We really believe that it’s the right recommendation taking into account the best interest of the players and fans; certainly this decision has players at heart,” said Rugby World Cup in a statement.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
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