- Eighteen teams travel to Dubai, South Africa or New Zealand to compete in the inaugural WXV tournament, kicking off a new era for international women’s rugby
- Each level will feature nine tests over three consecutive weekends and will be played in a cross-pool format
- WXV 2 fixtures in South Africa confirmed to be played at Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch and Athlone Stadium in Cape Town
- The opening WXV match will take place on 13 October at Danie Craven Stadium with Italy against Japan
- 1 hosts and world champions, New Zealand set to close the competition in a blockbuster showdown against England
- WXV 1 tickets will go on general sale from 22 August with opportunities for fans to see the action across New Zealand
World Rugby has today unveiled the bumper match schedule for WXV, the new women’s international 15s competition designed to increase the competitiveness, reach and impact of elite women’s rugby. The three-level tournament, which begins this October, will see 27 fixtures played across three host countries bringing the best women’s talent around the world.
With the entire competition set to take place over four weekends between Friday, 13 October until Saturday, 4 November, fans will have the opportunity to watch the world’s top teams compete in Dubai, South Africa and New Zealand.
Across all levels, matches will take place on Fridays and Saturdays with a combination of standalone and double header fixtures, maximising fan attendance and helping to create an exciting atmosphere in the host cities.
The tournament will take place during the men’s Rugby World Cup 2023 with match times complementing each other, ensuring fans can enjoy what is set to be a thrilling period of elite men’s and women’s rugby.
WXV 1 excitement across New Zealand
The top three finishers in both the TikTok Women’s Six Nations 2023 and World Rugby Pacific Four Series 2023 will head to New Zealand to compete in nine tests across the three match weekends in the hope to be crowned WXV 1 champions.
The opening weekend kicks off on Friday, 20 October at Sky Stadium in Wellington with Women’s Six Nations winners, England up against Australia. This will be followed on Saturday with Canada facing Wales and Pacific Four Series and world champions, New Zealand up against France.
After travelling to Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium for the second round of matches, the tournament will come to a close in an action-packed blockbuster weekend in Auckland at the Go Media Mt Smart Stadium. Fans will get to see Australia in action against Wales on Friday, 3 November followed by the final double-header that will see France take on Canada followed by the much-anticipated repeat of the Rugby World Cup 2021 final with England facing New Zealand.
Individual and weekend package tickets will go on sale at 10:00 (NZST, GMT+11) on Tuesday, 22 August and can be purchased at www.wxvrugby.com. All nine tests will be shown exclusively on Sky TV New Zealand.
WXV 2 host venues revealed
Six teams will head to Cape Town and Stellenbosch in South Africa in October after qualifying for the second level of the inaugural annual women’s 15s tournament.
The first fixtures of WXV 2023 takes place in WXV 2 on Friday, 13 October at Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch with an exciting double-header that sees Italy take on Japan first before Scotland face their hosts South Africa. USA will then tackle Samoa in the standalone match on Saturday, 14 October.
The tournament then heads to Cape Town with the Athlone Stadium hosting the second and third rounds of WXV 2. The competition ends on 27-28 October with three action-packed fixtures across the two days with Scotland up against Japan and South Africa versus Samoa on the Friday and USA facing Italy bringing WXV 2 to a close on the Saturday.
Plenty of action set for WXV 3 in Dubai
Dubai’s iconic The Sevens Stadium has been confirmed as the venue for WXV 3 with the competition mirroring the match-days of WXV 2 across October.
It’s a double-header first up in Dubai with Fiji set to face Colombia and Ireland up against Kazakhstan on Friday, 13 October. The next day sees European qualifier Spain pitted against Kenya.
The final weekend kicks off on Friday, 27 October with Kazakhstan against Fiji and Kenya versus Colombia’s Las Tucanes. The final WXV 3 match sees Ireland tackle Spain the next day.
New era for professional women’s rugby
World Rugby Chief of Women’s Rugby, Sally Horrox said: “WXV represents the start of a new era for women’s rugby with the three-level tournament model providing opportunities for the best athletes around the world to show their skills on the international stage. We’ve seen the rapid development of the women’s game in recent years and WXV will push it to another level again.
“We’re really proud of the exciting array of fixtures on offer and I’ve no doubt we are in for a thrilling competition with some exhilarating matchups on the pitch set to follow.
“A big thank you to all our hosts. We can’t wait to visit your countries and see the world’s best players compete in these fantastic venues and a huge congratulations to all the teams that have qualified. The stage is now set and we look forward to many memorable moments ahead across October and November.”
WXV is being supported by partners Mastercard, Capgemini and Gallagher, with World Rugby also injecting multi-million-pound investment funding over an initial two-year period in the sprint to an expanded 16-team Rugby World Cup 2025 in England.
Broadcast and ticketing information for WXV 2 and WXV 3 will follow.Fans can follow all the action by following @WXVRugby on social platforms and can also register for all the latest updates here.