World Rugby is hoping to go ahead with the competition in 2022
World Rugby has postponed Rugby World Cup 2021 until 2022, because of the global Covid situation.
The competition was due to be hosted in New Zealand from 18 September until 16 October, and it is now unclear what dates the women’s competition will be taking place in 2022.
In a statement this week, World Rugby said: “recent discussions with key partners including New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Government and participating unions, that, given the scale of the event and the COVID-19-related uncertainties, it is just not possible to deliver the environment for all teams to be the best that they can be on the sport’s greatest stage.”
Travel restrictions, and the ability of teams to adequately prepare before and during the tournament are named as the main reasons why it has been shifted.
New Zealand itself has had an impressive response to the Covid-19 pandemic, but there could be a danger with teams travelling to the country.
Whisper had recently been appointed as key digital video and audio production producer for the tournament, making social videos, documentaries, audio content, graphics and infographics, as well as an enhanced visual look with Whisper Partner Chapter 3 Graphics for what will be the first women’s Rugby World Cup held in the southern hemisphere.
It is likely that this agreement will now have to be rolled over to next year.
Full World Rugby statement
World Rugby has made the difficult decision to recommend the postponement of Rugby World Cup 2021, scheduled to be hosted in New Zealand between 18 September-16 October, until next year. The recommendation will be considered by the Rugby World Cup Board and World Rugby Executive Committee on 8 and 9 March respectively.
While appreciating the recommendation is extremely disappointing for teams and fans, it has their interests at heart, and gives the tournament the best opportunity to be all it can be for them, all New Zealanders and the global rugby family.
The recommendation is based on the evolution of the uncertain and challenging global COVID-19 landscape. It has become clear in recent discussions with key partners including New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Government and participating unions, that, given the scale of the event and the COVID-19-related uncertainties, it is just not possible to deliver the environment for all teams to be the best that they can be on the sport’s greatest stage.
The challenges include uncertainty and the ability for teams to prepare adequately for a Rugby World Cup tournament both before and on arrival in New Zealand, and challenging global travel restrictions.
World Rugby can assure teams, New Zealanders and the global rugby family that the recommendation to postpone the tournament will help to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2021 will be all it can be next year for players, fans and the rugby family – one of the great Rugby World Cups.
Further updates will be issued following the Rugby World Cup Board and World Rugby Executive Committee meetings next week.