World Rugby has launched a new three-tier annual global women’s international 15s competition within a restructuring of the test calendar. Launching in October 2023, WXV will revolutionise the women’s international rugby landscape, providing for the first time a meaningful pathway for all unions and a competitive springboard towards an expanded 16-team Rugby World Cup in 2025.
WXV 1 will consist of six teams and be played in a cross-pool format, as a standalone tournament in one location, which will be determined on a year-by-year basis.
Participating teams will include the top three teams from the Women’s Six Nations (Europe) and the top three teams of the cross-regional tournament featuring USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia (Oceania/Rugby Americas North (RAN))
There will be no promotion or relegation in the first cycle of WXV 1.
The WXV 2 competition will consist of six teams, played in a cross-pool format, as a standalone tournament in one location, which will be determined on a year-by-year basis.
Participating teams for 2023 will include two teams from Europe, the fourth-placed team from the cross-regional tournament featuring USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia (Oceania/RAN) alongside one team from Oceania, Asia and Africa
The sixth-placed regional position in the WXV 2 competition at the end of each season will be relegated to WVX 3.
WXV 3 will also be played as a cross-pool format, made up of six teams: two from Europe, one from Asia, one from Oceania, one from Africa and one from South America. The Group winner head up to group 2. The fate of the bottom team will be decided by a play-off with the next best side, according to the World Rugby Women’s Rankings.
What’s more is WXV will provide a pathway to Rugby World Cup 2025 with at least the five top ranked non-qualified teams at the end of WXV 2024 qualifying for the tournament.
Fresh off the back of hosting a record-breaking Rugby World Cup 2021 where the Black Ferns were crowned champions, New Zealand will welcome the world’s top teams in the six-team top level WXV 1 across three match weekends on 21 and 28 October and 4 November.
Cape Town in South Africa will play host to the six-team second level WXV 2 with matches being played across the weekends of 14, 21 and 28 October. Both competitions will be played in a cross-pool format.
The third level WXV 3 dates will mirror the same weekends as WXV 2 hosted at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai.
WXV is being supported by partners Mastercard, Capgemini and Gallagher.