Quarter-finals will probably be launched and classification matches scrapped on the 2021 Ladies’s Rugby World Cup, World Rugby has revealed.
The match size will even enhance from 23 to 35 days to enhance participant welfare.
However the variety of nations competing will stay at 12.
The introduction of quarter-finals is geared toward avoiding large rugby nations lacking out on the knockout levels of the match.
As World Rugby formally opened the tender course of for the 2021 match, normal supervisor Katie Sadler stated: “One of many points that got here out of the final two World Cups was the drop out of a number of the prime groups in the previous couple of video games.
“Placing that quarter-final in simply offers you that chance to check the highest groups extra earlier than you get to the semi-finals.”
New Zealand did not progress to the semi-finals in 2014, whereas hosts Eire missed out in 2017 together with former finalists Canada.
At earlier World Cups, international locations that didn’t make the semi-finals have gone on to play in classification matches, however these will now be scrapped.
From 2021, international locations that don’t make the quarter-finals will probably be despatched house on the finish of the pool stage.
“It is the identical with the boys’s competitors – we did canvass all the highest international locations earlier than making that decision they usually have been nice with that call,” Sadler stated.
“It is centered on excessive efficiency and meaning the higher groups will probably be there on the finish.”
There will probably be considerations that a number of the much less dominant girls’s rugby nations will miss out on the chance to play extra Check rugby by scrapping the classification.
World Rugby stated it was addressing the issue by its Ladies’s Strategic Plan, which incorporates serving to to develop and enhance the providing of girls’s Check-level tournaments away from World Cups.
Squad sizes enhance
Among the many different modifications, squad sizes will go up from 28 to 30 gamers.
On the 2017 Ladies’s World Cup, many international locations suffered with damage issues however Italy had a very lengthy damage checklist and determined late within the match to not fly out new gamers. It meant a lot of the Italian squad have been taking part in extra minutes of rugby than different nations who might nonetheless rotate gamers.
Sadler stated that the modifications to each squad sizes and the size of time between video games was known as for by all nations.
“We bought suggestions that participant welfare was actually necessary and we wanted to extend the times in between [games] so the modifications we made to the construction and format mirror this,” she stated.
This additionally refers to girls now getting a assured 4 relaxation days between pool video games and 5 or 6 days throughout the knockout stage.
Ladies will nonetheless have half a day much less restoration time from video games than their male counterparts at World Cups, in the event that they play in each spherical as much as the ultimate.
The choice is an enchancment on earlier girls’s tournaments when gamers have commonly had simply three days between matches.
On the 2019 World Cup, some males’s groups will even have 4 days relaxation between video games.
No enhance to 16 groups
There have been calls to extend the variety of groups competing on the Ladies’s World Cup from 12 to 16 however World Rugby has dominated this out for 2021.
“We all know we now have some work to do, closing the hole between the underside six and the highest six,” Sadler stated.
“So let’s focus the following 4 years on enhancing the potential of these programmes. If and when that’s profitable we’d take a look at increasing the competitors. It is going to be reviewed once more within the subsequent cycle.”
World Rugby will announce the host nation for the 2021 Ladies’s Rugby World Cup in November.
England, France, Australia and New Zealand have all expressed curiosity in internet hosting the match.