• New Zealand to host the largest gathering of decision-makers in women’s rugby
  • Youth engagement, the business case for investment, growing elite competitiveness and grassroots development key topics
  • Summit caps a record-breaking Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand
  • Rikki Swannell and Scotty Stevenson to host transformational Summit event series

The biggest ever gathering of influencers and decision-makers in the women’s game will take place in Auckland, New Zealand next week when World Rugby hosts its Women in Rugby Summit 2022 event series.

The Summit is the world’s largest forum and network dedicated to advancing gender equality in rugby and takes place on 10-11 November, on the eve of the Rugby World Cup 2021 final at Eden Park, a final that looks on course to set a new attendance record for a women’s rugby event.

World Rugby can confirm that the summit will surpass previous event attendance records with more than 300 delegates representing 43 countries worldwide. Delegates include national member union and regional Chairs and CEOs, government and sport partners, major brands, broadcasters and influencers.

The two-day programme, which has six sessions and numerous international presenters, will be opened by World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont and presents an opportunity for leaders and change-makers to get together to discuss the biggest topics in women’s rugby, women’s sport and major event hosting.

Core agenda areas include:

  • Accelerating the growth of the game
  • How to build the business case for investment in women’s rugby
  • Women in leadership
  • Growing the girls’ game
  • Player welfare and wellbeing
  • The pathway to professionalism
  • Growing audiences and building impactful partnerships

Speakers include Ali Giordano (Mastercard), Kirsty Burrows (International Olympic Committee), Tracy Gawthorne (Capgemini), Meg Knight (ChildFund Rugby), Ada Milby (Asia Rugby), Jilly Collins (Rugby Australia), Dr Araba Chintoh (Women’s Welfare Working Group Chair, IRP), Rachael Burford (IRP), Cathy Wong (Oceania Rugby) and Sue Day (RFU).

World Rugby Director of Women’s Rugby Sally Horrox said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming the global rugby family to Auckland for what promises to be two superb days of discussion, collaboration and commitment set against the backdrop of a very special and record-breaking Rugby World Cup.

“We set out to design a programme that provides direction and leadership around the biggest topics related to women in rugby and the wider women’s game and will also strengthen knowledge sharing and networking. We will have more than 300 delegates in attendance across the two days, representing more than 40 nations. Seeing this come to life is a privilege and incredibly exciting.

“We are entering what will be a pivotal and transformational decade for women in rugby and the sport more broadly. With unprecedented certainty around major event hosting over the next decade, a focus on growing audiences, revenue and participation. The time is now to ensure that we convert the massive opportunity we have in front of us – an opportunity that will accelerate the growth of the sport as a whole.”

There are also events taking place around the Summit, including a welcome breakfast on the potential of major events hosting featuring organisers of Rugby World Cup 2021, FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 and World Netball.