Castle keen for World Cup recommendation to be introduced

Womens Rugby World Cup
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Rugby Australia has plans to address World Rugby over the Women’s Rugby World Cup process after narrowly missing out on the hosting rights for the 2021 tournament.

The Women’s Rugby World Cup is different to the men’s iteration in that many of the voting council won’t be entering a team in the tournament.

It is believed that many of the nations competing in the tournament, including the four home nations of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, backed Australia’s bid but many of the nations without a qualified team including South Africa and Argentina voted for New Zealand.

While Australia had no qualms with the fairness of the overall process, Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle said she would be open to the addition a pre-vote recommendation, something that was panned in the men’s process last year.

Ahead of last year’s 2023 Rugby World Cup vote, the Rugby World Cup executive published a recommendation based on the bids, putting South Africa as the leading contender.

France will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Photo: Getty ImagesWhen it came to the vote, though, France was a shock winner of the hosting rights.

In the wake of that twist, World Rugby said it would review the public recommendation.

“I think even though World Rugby made a recommendation for the men's World Cup last time and it wasn't followed, I still think it would be good process for World Rugby to make a recommendation based on their bid analysis.

“I would still like to see that it's something that World Rugby does and then ultimately if council choose the governance process we've got at the moment to go down a different path well that's council's right,” she said.

“That's certainly something we'll be talking to World Rugby about.”

Gilpin said he didn’t believe there was an issue with the process, saying countries had interests with the possibility

“I don’t think so,” he said.

“We’re seeing more of the member unions investing more in the women’s game.

“More of those teams now want to be in the Women’s world cup and expansion in the women’s world cup will be a topic for discussion.

“We’re obviously staying with a 12-team tournament in New Zealand but I think we’ll see that expand, we’ll see more of those countries involved.

“I don’t think that was an issue in the process.”