Women's Rugby World Cup renamed for gender neutrality

Ross Houston
August 22, 2019

World Rugby is to drop gender from the title of its 15s and sevens Rugby World Cup competitions in a bid to tackle gender bias in sport.

World Rugby's General Manager for Women's Rugby Katie Sadleir attended the workshop, the latest one to take place around the world after events in Botswana, Spain, Paraguay and Bangkok over the last 18 months, while Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle and New Zealand Rugby's Chief Operating Officer Nicki Nicol were keynote speakers.

After a competitive pitch, the agency's brief is part of World Rugby's plans to attract younger fans as well as non-traditional audiences, translating the governing body's values and tone of voice, as well as the spirit of rugby across social channels, content and campaigns.


World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont says today's announcement "demonstrates their ongoing and unwavering commitment to advancing women in rugby both on and off the field". Unintentional gender bias in sport is an ongoing issue.

The decision to adopt a consistent approach to the naming of these events and tournaments was based on a recommendation brought before Council by the Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Board. As a global sporting federation we need to be leading from the front on the issue of equality.

World Rugby is anticipating a potential audience up to 20 per cent higher than the 2015 tournament, with a record reach of more than 800 million households in 217 territories, compared to 683 million homes four years ago.


World Rugby Women's Advisory Committee Chair Serge Simon added: "This is much more than an initiative - it is the ultimate statement of equality and a first for sport".

Saturday's try by George North was not the first instance that something like that has happened and it is therefore surprising that England have received criticism regarding their complaints, as ultimately many feel the right decision has been made.

"I have good memories of Twickenham but, at the same time, it's a long time ago now", said Stockdale from Ireland's training camp in Portugal. "We're very proud to be leading the sports industry in this space".


Ireland lost a seventh-placed playoff 27-17 to Wales in the same tournament.

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