By Mariah Nanah
RWC has announced that the rescheduled Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe qualifier will be hosted by Italy on 13th, 19th, and 25th September 2021 in Parma’s Stadio “Sergio Lanfranchi”, home of the Zebre Rugby Club following postponement as a result of the ongoing global pandemic.
Italy, Spain, Ireland and Scotland will compete for Europe 1st place in RWC 2021 Pool B. Runners up will progress to the final qualification tournament.
The winner of the RWC 2021 will secure a place at Rugby World Cup 2021 and play in 2022 in New Zealand during games scheduled to take place between 8th October to 12th November 2022.
Teams from different countries like USA, Australia, New Zealand, England, France, Canada that qualified from the regional tournament finals at Ireland 2017, South Africa and Fiji have booked spots.
Italy will compete against Ireland, Scotland and the winners of the Rugby Europe Women’s Championship 2020, in Spain.
The RWC director Alison Hughes said “we are pleased to be able to share the details of the rescheduled Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe Qualification. The global disruption caused by COVID-19 has been frustrating for all unions still within the pathway but we appreciate the patience and flexibility shown by our unions and their efforts to ensure the qualification process can be completed safely and fairly. Next year’s Rugby World Cup is shaping up to be a truly spectacular event and we can’t wait to see the world’s top women’s 15s players take the stage in New Zealand.”
The FIR President said “I can’t and won’t hide we’re extremely proud for hosting the event, a pride I want to share with every single Italian rugby player. I’d also want to thank the Emilia-Romagna Region, the Parma’s municipality, the Zebre and the local Clubs for immediately making themselves available to host, support and make this event the best possible one for the Teams.”
“Our women built their international credibility over the years, earning respect from their opponents on the test arena and a brilliant place in the World Rugby ranking, boosting the growth of the Game in our Country and across the whole Italian sporting community. I do know how brilliant this bunch of women is, and how strong is the bond between the players and their coach Andrea Giandomenico, they will go on to the end in playing their chances to reach the qualification and represent our Country and our jersey later in 2022 in such an iconic rugby country, as I had the privilege to do when I skippered Italy at the 1987 inaugural Rugby World Cup. Shouldn’t it be the case, credit to the RWC Qualifier winner which will be however bringing a little piece of Italy to New Zealand with them. Maybe, the Final Qualification Tournament will give us a further chance. Go Azzurre!” He added.
A full match schedule for the RWC 2021 Europe qualifier and details in relation to the final qualification tournament will be announced.