Thu, Feb 29, 2024, 9:02 AM
Nathan Williamson

World Rugby has confirmed the premier WXV competition is set to head to Canada in 2024.

It was announced on Thursday that WXV 1 will be hosted in Canada from September 29 to October 13, with WXV 2 and 3 to be held in South Africa and Dubai respectively.

It comes after Canada hosted the 2023 Pacific Four, which attracted record crowds for Women's Rugby in the region.

Australia will be looking to requalify for the top competition after finishing third in the inaugural WXV 1 in New Zealand.

This included wins over France and Wales, only finishing behind World Cup finalists England and the Black Ferns.

“We are delighted to be working with Rugby Canada, the South African Rugby Union and Dubai to host WXV later this year," World Rugby Chief of Women’s Rugby Sally Horrox said.

"The tournament plays a fundamental role in helping us to grow women’s rugby and provides more opportunities for players, showcases the game to more fans and inspires more girls to play.

"Our hosts all share our ambition to take the tournament to the next level and further strengthen the development of the women’s game."

With 18 months until the 2025 World Cup, WXV and the respective qualification events take on extra significance as qualifying events for the tournament.

New Zealand, England, Canada and France have already secured their spots after semi-final finishes at Rugby World Cup 2021, with a further six spots available to winners of the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship, Women’s Six Nations, Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship, Pacific Four Series, Rugby Africa Women’s Cup and Sudamerica play-off.

The rest of the World Cup will be made up of the six highest-ranked WXV teams.

“It’s crucial that teams get sufficient preparation and game-time ahead of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, and WXV is designed to help provide this for players and coaches alike. I saw firsthand just how much the competitiveness grew across the tournament last year and I look forward to the same again," Horrox added.

Australia and New Zealand will host the Pacific Four competition in 2024, with the Wallaroos' campaign beginning on May 11 against Canada in Sydney.

They will then face USA in Melbourne before heading to North Harbour to face New Zealand.