England will play opening match of 2021 Rugby League World Cup

The Women's Rugby World Cup host will be named on Thursday

The Women's Rugby World Cup host will be named on Thursday

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said New Zealand would stage a world class event but expressed sympathy for Australia's failed bid.

"I'm absolutely ecstatic I'm just holding it all in at the moment".

Jon Dutton, chief executive of the 2021 tournament, said: "One of our main aims was to hold the most inclusive Rugby League World Cup of all time and I'm delighted that we have that confirmed".

"I spoke with emotion and passion and said this is what it means to us".

Matches will be staged in Auckland and Whangarei - Waitakere Stadium, the Northland Events Centre and Albany - from July to August, with the final and, possibly, semifinals to be played at Eden Park.

Ten nations have already qualified including Fiji, Lebanon, Papua New Guinea and Samoa after reaching the final eight of the 2017 World Cup, while France and Wales recently secured their spot.

He said: "This is a significant and exciting day for the Challenge Cup, and the game's relationship with Wembley Stadium".

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It was the best attended Women's Rugby World Cup to date with a record total attendance of 45,412, the most viewed with Ireland, France, the United Kingdom and US all recording unprecedented viewing figures, and also the most socially engaged, generating 45 million views across official tournament platforms.

"Next year we will celebrate the 90th anniversary of the first Challenge Cup Final at Wembley in 1929".

"We want to do what we can to grow the women's game in the Oceania region", Palmer said.

"To be able to announce this news across all three competitions, three years before their respective World Cup Finals, demonstrates further progress for the worldwide game and we look forward to ongoing collaboration with the RLWC2021 organisers". We've been putting a lot of investment into the women's game; we've got the Black Ferns contracted now, we've got really good programmes with the provincial teams.

Palmer has a six-year-old daughter and can not wait for her to witness the tournament.

"Women's rugby continues to grow with over 2.4 million women and girls playing rugby at all levels, accounting for more than a quarter of players globally", said World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont.

"It nearly felt like the tournament was coming home in being awarded to New Zealand", Beaumont said. "Everybody knows what rugby means to Kiwis". That certainly came out in the bid.

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