WATCH: Women's 2021 Rugby World Cup set to be delayed due to Covid
LONDON – The 2021 women's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand is set to be postponed until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, World Rugby announced Tuesday.
A statement said the recommendation to delay the event, originally scheduled for September 18-October 16, until 2022, will be considered by the Rugby World Cup board and the World Rugby executive committee on March 8 and 9 respectively.
World Rugby added they had come to this position based on the "uncertain and challenging global Covid-19 landscape".
Their statement said it had become clear following talks with the New Zealand government and participating unions that, given Covid-19 related uncertainties, "it is just not possible to deliver the environment for all teams to be the best that they can be on the sport's greatest stage".
World Rugby added: "While appreciating the recommendation is extremely disappointing for teams and fans, it has their interests at heart, and gives the tournament the best opportunity to be all it can be for them, all New Zealanders and the global rugby family."
Officials said their recommendation to delay was also informed by concerns that if they went ahead as planned then teams would not be able to prepare adequately for a Rugby World Cup tournament both before and on arrival in New Zealand, and by "challenging global travel restrictions".
“We really believe that it's the right recommendation taking into account the best interest of the players and fans; certainly this decision has players at heart"— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) March 2, 2021
Interim World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin, on the difficult decision to recommend the postponement of Rugby World Cup 2021 pic.twitter.com/weUn1iXi98