WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The Women’s World Cup in New Zealand will kick off in October next year after a delay of more than 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
World Rugby has released a new schedule Wednesday for the 12-team tournament that was initially set to be played from Sept. 18 to Oct. 16 this year. The new dates are Oct. 8 to Nov. 12, 2022.
The tournament has been extended from 35 to 43 days, allowing all teams a break of at least five days between matches.
The pool phase will take place on weekends from Oct. 8-23 with the quarterfinals on Oct. 29 and 30 and the semifinals on Nov. 5.
The final and bronze medal match will be played at Auckland’s Eden Park on Nov. 12.
While New Zealand is COVID-19 free, lockdowns in other parts of the world disrupted the planned qualifying process and the preparations of some qualified teams.
“We are fully committed to accelerating the women’s game at all levels and while the postponement was disappointing for everyone it has provided the unique opportunity to review every aspect of the event to ensure it is the best it can be for the players, fans around the world and the wonderful and enthusiastic New Zealanders,” World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said.
“Longer rest periods between matches for all teams is a further commitment to delivering comprehensive player welfare standards.”
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