WXV: Revolutionising Women’s Rugby

4 October 2023 | ,

World Rugby announced in 2021 a new three-tier annual global women’s competition that will feature 18 teams across three divisions. The competition is intended to help ensure that teams play at least 10 international matches per year, which would double the current number of fixtures. This will help to raise the reach, profile, and impact of the global women’s XV game, especially in the years leading up to the next Rugby World Cup, which will be held in England in 2025.

Therefore here we will give you the breakdown of the new WXV 2023 Tournament for Women. Furthermore it starts 13 October 2023. Also we will look at the qualified teams and where they will be playing.

What is the WXV

World Rugby will hold the first edition of the women’s international rugby union group tournament for senior national teams. Also now known as the WXV 2023, between 13 October and 4 November. The competition will feature three divisions, therefore each with six teams divided into two pools. Furthermore teams will be selected for the competition based on their performance in regional competitions and play-in matches. Firstly the top division, WXV 1, will be hosted by three cities in New Zealand. Then WXV 2 will be hosted by two cities in South Africa. Lastly WXV 3 will be hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

When and where is the WXV 2023

Three countries will be hosting the new WXV 2023 Tournament. They are New Zealand, South Africa and also Dubai. Furthermore each will be hosting a WXV division:

  1. New Zealand will be hosting the top 6 teams which fall under WXV Division 1. The matches will also take place in Wellington, Dunedin and Auckland from 20 October 2023 to 4 November 2023.
  2. South Africa will be hosting the WXV Division 2 matches. Also all the matches will take place in Stellenbosch and Cape Town. At the Danie Craven Stadium and the Athlone Sport Stadium.
  3. Dubai will be hosting the 6 teams for the WXV division 3 matches. Therefore all the matches will take place at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai and will be from 13 October 2023 to 28 October 2023.

Teams participating in the WXV 2023 Tournament

So the matches will take place in a cross-pool format. The teams have qualified in different divisions according to their matches over the last year and they are as follows:

New Zealand – WXV Division 1

In the WXV 1 each team will be playing three matches. The top three teams from the Women’s Six Nations (Europe) and the top three teams from the World Rugby Pacific Four Series (Rugby Americas North/Oceania) will participate. Also there will be no relegation or promotion for the first two years.

New Zealand will host the world’s top teams in the six-team top-level WXV 1 across three match weekends from 20 October and 4 November 2023.

  • Australia
  • France
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • England
  • Wales

South Africa – WXV Division 2

In the WXV 2 each team will be playing three matches The participating teams for 2023 will include two teams from Europe, the fourth-placed team from the Pacific Four Series, and 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 WXV 3.

Cape Town, South Africa will host the six-team second-level WXV 2 tournament. With matches across the weekends from 13 October 2023 to 28 October.

  • South Africa
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Scotland
  • Samoa
  • USA

Dubai – WXV Division 3

In the WXV 3 each team will be playing three matches The participating teams will include two teams from Europe and one team from Asia, Oceania, Africa, and South America.

The winner of WXV 3 will be promoted to WXV 2. Also the bottom team will play a play-off against the next best-ranked side, according to the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini on the Monday after the final match of WXV that year.

  • Colombia
  • Fiji
  • Ireland
  • Kenya
  • Spain
  • Kazakhstan

South Africa WXV 2

The Springbok Women defeated the hosts Madagascar to win the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup Division 1 2023 championship. Kenya finished second and will compete in WXV 3 in October thanks to their win over Cameroon. South Africa really have upped their game and we are looking forward to seeing what the Springbok’s will do in the WXV 2023. 

  • Scotland v South Africa on 13 October 2023 at the Danie Craven Stadium.
  • Italy v South Africa on 20 October 2023 at the Athlone Sports Stadium.
  • South Africa v Samoa on 27 October 2023 at the Athlone Sports Stadium. 

To celebrate Women’s Month have a look at our article – Africa’s First Female Professional Rugby Player – Babalwa Latsha. Babalwa Latsha has also been announced as the captain for South Africa in this tournament.

WXV Tournament

World Rugby Chief of Women’s Rugby, Sally Horrox said: “WXV represents the start of a new era for women’s rugby with the three-level tournament model providing opportunities for the best athletes around the world to show their skills on the international stage. We’ve seen the rapid development of the women’s game in recent years and WXV will push it to another level again.”

The campaign, Here For Her 2023, by Supersport has been an excellent way to showcase Women’s Sport and give them more exposure. We are excited to see what the WXV will bring to the forefront and also how this next step in Women’s rugby will empower and motivate younger girls to enter a new world and experience new opportunities.

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