The Springboks Women’s team will face a stiff challenge at the Rugby World Cup 2021 having been drawn alongside England and France in a tough Pool C that also includes Fiji.
The Springboks secured their place at the 2021 World Cup by winning the 2019 Rugby Africa Women’s Cup.
Trans-Tasman Pool A
Hosts and reigning world champions New Zealand are set to face Australia, Wales and the winner of the Final Qualification Tournament in Pool A.
Pool B sees Canada set to face USA for the first time in the pool stages of a Rugby World Cup alongside yet to be determined qualifiers from Europe and Asia.
Seven teams qualified directly for 2021 event courtesy of a top-seven finish at the last tournament in Ireland in 2017. Defending champions New Zealand, runners-up England, bronze medallists France, losing semi-finalists USA, Canada, Australia and Wales all being spared qualifying tournaments.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont believes the tournament will take the women’s game to new heights.
“New Zealand 2021 will be one of the great Rugby World Cups. It will be a celebration of the host nation, of world-class rugby and women in rugby and it will play a huge role in inspiring more women, girls and boys to get into rugby,” Beaumont said as he joined the draw remotely.
“Today marks an important step towards that ambition. It is the day that the teams and fans have been waiting for with great anticipation, the moment the tournament truly comes alive and the final preparations begin in earnest.
“2021 will be a golden year for women in rugby with the Olympics and collectively we are ready to convert that opportunity into impactful and sustainable momentum for the women’s game and the growth of the sport as a whole.”
Black Ferns captain Eloise Blackwell remarked that the draw had thrown up some intriguing grudge matches and would make for an entertaining tournament.
“Sitting there next to Fiao’o Fa’amausili, a legend of the game, and it was pretty nerve-racking watching those balls being picked out,” Blackwell said.
“It’s interesting how the pools have come out; we’ve got an Australasian pool, a North American pool and a European pool. Across the pools, there are some quality teams.”
World Rugby will announce The Rugby World Cup 2021 match schedule in due course.
Rugby World Cup 2021 Group Stage Draw
Pool A – New Zealand, Australia, Wales, Final Qualification Tournament Winner.
Pool B – Canada, USA, Europe 1, Asia 1
Pool C – England, France, South Africa, Fiji.