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Women's Rugby World Cup

Carl Mullen signs rugby ball for small boy


In addition to the official Women's Rugby World Cups there have been two unofficial Women's Rugby World Cups (Cardiff 1991 and Edinburgh 1994).

The staging of the first women’s 'World Cup' – albeit unofficial - in Cardiff in 1991 was a pivotal moment. The event broke new ground and for Deborah Griffin and her small team of organisers the project was a massive challenge. To this day, Griffin is held up as being a leading light and pioneer for the women’s World Cup movement.

Held in 1991, the first women’s event had clashed in the rugby calendar with the second men’s Rugby World Cup in the UK and in order to avoid a recurrence of that problem the next tournament was brought forward a year to 1994.

The full backing of the International Rugby Board was given in time for the 1998 event, therefore it became the year of the first 'official' Women’s Rugby World Cup.

  Women's Rugby World Cup

World Cup Final Results

2017: NZ bt England 41-32
2014: England bt Canada 21-9
2010: NZ bt England 13-10
2006: NZ bt England 25-17
2002: NZ bt England 19-9
1998: NZ bt USA 44-12
1994: England bt USA 38-23
1991: USA bt England 19-6

2017 Women's RWC

WRWC 2017 officially launched


A dominant second-half performance saw New Zealand come storming back to end England's reign as champions and claim the title for the fifth time in a final that was played out in a cauldron of noise from start to finish.

The three previous World Cup finals between the nations had each been a classic in its own way and the excitement crackling around the Kingspan Stadium during the anthems and Black Ferns' haka signified that the crowd expected more of the same from the top two nations in the world.

Defending champions England had started the better with a probing kick by Katy Mclean helping to keep New Zealand deep in their own half in the opening minutes, but they were unable to turn that early pressure into points and instead a cross-field kick from her opposite number Victoria Subritzy-Nafatali created the opening try. It was meant for Portia Woodman, but dropped in front of her and the ball fortuitously bounced up into the arms of Selica Winiata, the full-back leaving her opposite number Emily Scarratt in her wake to run in the opening try after eight minutes.

Scarratt required lengthy treatment and went to the sidelines briefly to have her left ankle taped, but returned and put England on the board wtih a 15th minute penalty to the delight of the England fans in the crowd. England received another boost when referee Joy Neville ruled that New Zealand flanker Sarah Goss had lifted Mclean above the horizontal, earning the Olympic silver medallist a trip to the sin-bin for 10 minutes.

In her absence, England thought they had scored when second-row Tamara Taylor went over the line, but Kelly Brazier managed to get her arms under the ball to prevent it being grounded. However, from the resulting scrum England got the drive on and referee Neville ended up under the posts signalling for a penalty try.

Goss had just returned when England crossed for their second try of the final, centre Rachael Burford bursting through the defence before combining with winger Kay Wilson. The ball was quickly recycled and a long pass from Mclean found Lydia Thompson out wide, the winger stepping inside and diving over to make it 17-5 after Scarratt's conversion.

New Zealand were having to live on scraps of possession, but on the verge of half-time the four-time champions got a crucial score to bring them back into the match, prop Toka Natua being stopped just short before showing incredible awareness to reach out and turn her arm to ground the ball, all while being unsighted. Kendra Cocksedge missed the conversion, but the Black Ferns would be relieved to be only seven points down at the end of a half England had dominated. 

Whatever coach Glenn Moore said at half-time clearly had an affect on the Black Ferns as they came out and dominated the early exchanges and were level within five minutes after Subritzy-Nafatali stepped and powered her way through before popping a pass off the floor to prop Takua for her second.

Scarratt saw her penalty go over off the posts in the 51st minute to edge England ahead once more, but New Zealand were getting up a head of steam and went through multiple phases before second-row Charmaine Smith grounded the ball against the base of the post to put the Black Ferns ahead again at 24-20.

The lead lasted barely two minutes, though, as a Subritzy-Nafatali cross-kick fell straight into the arms of Thompson and the winger ran around Woodman to race 50 metres for her second of the match. A third try in five frenetic minutes swung the game back in New Zealand's favour with Natua, a number eight who recently converted to the front row, completing her hat-trick to make it 31-25 in her side's favour.

With New Zealand's pack firmly on top and securing plenty of ball for their team, it was no surprise when scrum-half Cocksedge grabbed their fourth try of the second half just past the hour mark. She couldn't add the conversion but it mattered little as a fifth try came with 10 minutes to go.

Subritzy-Nafatali noticed that Wilson left her wing and put up a perfectly-weighted cross-kick that fell into the arms of Carla Hohepa, the replacement selflessy feeding Winiata on the wrap around for the try that all but sealed victory by taking the score out to 41-25. England, to their credit, battled to the finish and were rewarded when replacement Izzy Noel-Smith finished off a drive.

New Zealand captain Fiao'o Faamausili: “It means everything. You couldn’t have asked for a better final than this, there was some amazing talent displayed out there. Credit to England, they are an amazing team with amazing forwards and amazing backs and they just really gave it to us tonight and we had to dig deep and believe in or game. I was really proud of the girls. There was never a moment in that first half that I doubted our performance, it was about being patient and believing in what we could do and then coming out in the second half and doing it, which is what we did. Second half, territory was the key for us.” 

New Zealand coach Glenn Moore: “I am very proud of the team and it hasn’t probably sunk in yet. It is very satisfying for the team and the management staff. Over the last three years we had a plan in place and I think we peaked at the right time. We expected them to come out like they did and we stayed very calm at half-time. Our messaging was clear. England were enjoying something like 71/72 per cent territory and 65 per cent possession so that was putting us under a lot of pressure and we were having to put in a lot of tackles at the wrong end of the park. It is always challenging when you are in that mode because you are at risk of giving away penalties so our messaging was around field position and holding onto possession. We could also see that they weren’t committing to the tackle and were keeping everyone on their feet so we wanted to try and take them on through the middle with the forwards. The try before half-time was critical. It was probably the first time in a long time that we had been down that end of the park. I am just so proud of the amount of fight they had. It was a calm camp at half-time and they knew what had to be done and they went out there and executed it under pressure really well.”

New Zealand hat-trick score Toka Natua: “It is an amazing feeling, knowing that this is not only for me but for my town Tokoroa and the rest of New Zealand. I’d like to thank the heavenly father and the girls out there beside me. They are not my tries alone, they are down to all of us, and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have got over the line. We had no worries at all at 17-5 down. If you let worry creep in, it is just going to take over so we just kept calm and kept that fire in our belly and kept going forward. Our coach (at half-time) just said, it’s now or never and imagine that our family was behind us on defence and that we needed to protect them and not allow anyone to get through.”

England coach Simon Middleton: “Massive credit to New Zealand, they were outstanding and found a way to win. We’re disappointed, obviously, but we just couldn’t get the ball in the second half. Fitness never really came into the equation, we had loads of energy. Full marks to New Zealand, they found a way to keep hold of the ball really well, they were very clinical and played in the right areas of the field and Cocksedge was outstanding at nine. The girls have been great, an absolute credit, and it has been a huge privilege coaching them in this tournament. There has been some great talent on show for us with some massive positives coming out of this World Cup in terms of players going forward, and lots of stuff to be going on with, but a little bit of a rest might be in order first.”

England captain Sarah Hunter: “We gave it everything but all credit to New Zealand, we lost the momentum and they got on top and we couldn't seem to get our hands back on the ball. I’m so proud of the girls and one loss doesn’t make us a bad team. We can stand tall tonight, but we’re sorry we couldn’t get the win for the fans.”

England fly-half Katy Mclean: “For us, the only thing we have now is massive disappointment. Credit to New Zealand they really took us to it in the second half and we probably didn’t up our game enough to win that. We came here to win, we set that goal from the start and the disappointment from the England team is massive because we feel like we have let people down. But the support we have had here and at home and on social media, it has been absolutely immense and we’re really grateful. If another girl takes us up our brilliant sport on the back of today, that’s one positive we can take from it.” 

England: Scarratt, Thompson, Jones, Burford, Wilson, Mclean, Hunt; Cornborough, Cokayne, Bern, Scott, Taylor, Matthews, Packer, Hunter (c).

Replacements: Fleetwood, Clark, Lucas, Millar-Mills, Noel-Smith, Mason, Reed, Wilson-Hardy.

New Zealand: Winiata, Woodman, Waaka, Brazier, Wickliffe, Subritzky-Nafatali, Cocksedge; Natua, Faamausili (c), Itunu, Blackwell, Smith, McMenamin, Goss, Savage.
Replacements: Ngata-Aerengamate, Talawadua, Nelson, Wood, Ketu, Sue, Fitzpatrick, Hohepa.

Pool Tables


1 NEW ZEALAND 3 3 0 0 213 17 196 35 3 2 15
2 CANADA 3 2 0 1 118 48 70 19 8 1 9
3 WALES 3 1 0 2 51 74 -23 9 12 1 5
4 HONG KONG 3 0 0 3 15 258 -243 2 42 0 0


1 ENGLAND 3 3 0 0 159 44 115 27 7 3 15
2 USA 3 2 0 1 93 59 34 15 9 3 11
3 SPAIN 3 1 0 2 27 107 -80 4 18 0 4
4 ITALY 3 0 0 3 33 102 -69 5 17 0 0


1 FRANCE 3 3 0 0 141 19 122 23 3 2 14
2 IRELAND 3 2 0 1 48 52 -4 7 8 0 8
3 AUSTRALIA 3 1 0 2 46 82 -36 8 14 2 6
4 JAPAN 3 0 0 3 43 125 -82 7 20 0 0


Saturday 26th August England 32 - 41 New Zealand
  Australia 12 - 43 Canada
  France 31 - 23 USA
  Italy 20 - 15 Spain
  Ireland 17 - 27 Wales
  Japan 44 - 05 Hong Kong
Tuesday 22nd, August England 20 - 03 France
  Canada 52 - 00 Wales
  New Zealand 45 - 12 USA
  Spain 31 - 07 Hong Kong
  Ireland 24 - 36 Australia
  Italy 22 - 00 Japan
Thursday 17th August France 21 - 05 Ireland
  Wales 39 - 15 Hong Kong
  Australia 29 - 15 Japan
  Italy 08 - 22 Spain
  England 47 - 26 USA
  Canada 05 - 48 New Zealand
Sunday 13th August France 48 - 00 Australia
  Ireland 24 - 14 Japan
  Canada 15 - 00 Wales
  USA 43 - 00 Spain
  England 55 - 13 Italy
  New Zealand 121 - 00 Hong Kong
Wednesday 9th August France 72 - 14 Japan
  Ireland 19 - 17 Australia
  Canada 98 - 00 Hong Kong
  USA 24 - 12 Italy
  New Zealand 44 - 12 Wales
  England 56 - 05 Spain

2014 Women's RWC

WRWC 2014 France


England 21 - 9 Canada
Event: 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup
Kick-Off: 18:45 Stadium: Stade Jean Bouin
Date: 17 Aug Venue: Paris
Attendance: Weather:
No   England   No Canada
1   Rochelle Clark   1 Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid
2   Victoria Fleetwood   2 Kim Donaldson
3   Sophie Hemming   3 Hilary Leith
4   Tamara Taylor   4 Latoya Blackwood
5   Jo McGilchrist   5 Maria Samson
6   Marlie Packer   6 Jacey Murphy
7   Margaret Alphonsi   7 Karen Paquin
8   Sarah Hunter   8 Kelly Russell (C)
9   Natasha Hunt   9 Elissa Alarie
10   Katy McLean (C)   10 Emily Belchos
11   Kay Wilson   11 Jessica Dovanne
12   Rachael Burford   12 Andrea Burk
13   Emily Scarratt   13 Mandy Marchak
14   Katherine Merchant   14 Magali Harvey
15   Danielle Waterman   15 Julianne Zussman
16   Emma Croker (R)   16 Laura Russell (R)
17   Laura Keates (R)   17 Olivia DeMerchant (R)
18   Rebecca Essex (R)   18 Mary Jane Kirby (R)
19   Alex Matthews (R)   19 Tyson Beukeboom
20   La Toya Mason (R)   20 Kayla Mack (R)
21   Ceri Large (R)   21 Julia Sugawara (R)
22   Claire Allan (R)   22 Brittany Waters (R)
England Scorers
Player name Type Time Half
Emily Scarratt Penalty 11:00 First Half
Emily Scarratt Penalty 25:00 First Half
Danielle Waterman Try 33:00 First Half
Emily Scarratt Missed Conversion 34:00 First Half
Emily Scarratt Penalty 20:00 Second Half
Emily Scarratt Try 34:00 Second Half
Emily Scarratt Conversion 35:00 Second Half
Canada Scorers
Player name Type Time Half
Magali Harvey Penalty 42:00 First Half
Magali Harvey Penalty 05:00 Second Half
Magali Harvey Penalty 18:00 Second Half


01 AUG 2014
01/08 - 13:00 New Zealand
79 - 5
Kazakhstan FFR HQ - Pitch 3
01/08 - 15:00 Canada
31 - 5
Spain FFR HQ - Pitch 3
01/08 - 15:45 Australia
26 - 3
South Africa FFR HQ - Pitch 1
01/08 - 17:00 USA
17 - 23
Ireland FFR HQ - Pitch 3
01/08 - 18:00 England
65 - 3
Samoa FFR HQ - Pitch 1
01/08 - 20:45 France
26 - 0
Wales FFR HQ - Pitch 1
05 AUG 2014
05/08 - 13:00 USA
47 - 7
Kazakhstan FFR HQ - Pitch 3
05/08 - 15:00 Australia
25 - 3
Wales FFR HQ - Pitch 3
05/08 - 15:45 England
45 - 5
Spain FFR HQ - Pitch 1
05/08 - 17:00 Canada
42 - 7
Samoa FFR HQ - Pitch 3
05/08 - 18:00 New Zealand
14 - 17
Ireland FFR HQ - Pitch 1
05/08 - 20:45 France
55 - 3
South Africa FFR HQ - Pitch 1
09 AUG 2014
09/08 - 13:00 Ireland
40 - 5
Kazakhstan FFR HQ - Pitch 3
09/08 - 15:00 Spain
41 - 5
Samoa FFR HQ - Pitch 3
09/08 - 15:45 England
13 - 13
Canada FFR HQ - Pitch 1
09/08 - 17:00 Wales
35 - 3
South Africa FFR HQ - Pitch 3
09/08 - 18:00 New Zealand
34 - 3
USA FFR HQ - Pitch 1
09/08 - 20:45 Australia
3 - 17
France FFR HQ - Pitch 1
13 AUG 2014
13/08 - 14:00 South Africa
25 - 24
Samoa FFR HQ - Pitch 1
13/08 - 15:45 New Zealand
63 - 7
Wales Stade Jean Bouin
13/08 - 16:15 Spain
18 - 5
Kazakhstan FFR HQ - Pitch 1
13/08 - 18:00 Ireland
7 - 40
England Stade Jean Bouin
13/08 - 18:30 Australia
20 - 23
USA FFR HQ - Pitch 1
13/08 - 20:45 France
16 - 18
Canada Stade Jean Bouin
17 AUG 2014
17/08 - 12:00 Samoa
31 - 0
Kazakhstan FFR HQ - Pitch 1
17/08 - 14:00 South Africa
0 - 36
Spain FFR HQ - Pitch 1
17/08 - 14:15 USA
5 - 55
New Zealand Stade Jean Bouin
17/08 - 16:00 Australia
30 - 3
Wales FFR HQ - Pitch 1
17/08 - 16:30 Ireland
18 - 25
France Stade Jean Bouin
17/08 - 18:45 England
21 - 9
Canada Stade Jean Bouin

2010 Women's RWC

WRWC 2010 Captains - Photo credit

The Women's Rugby World Cup 2010, the premier 15-a-side tournament in the women's game, was played from August 20 to September 5, in England.

The unprecedented qualification process, which saw 16 teams compete for the six places available outside the automatically qualified teams, was completed when Kazakhstan defeated Japan 43-5 to claim a place in Pool B, while Sweden join Pool C in its first appearance on the Women's Rugby World Cup stage since 1998.

Pool A: New Zealand, Wales, Australia, South Africa
Pool B: England, USA, Ireland, Kazakhstan
Pool C: France, Canada, Scotland, Sweden

New Zealand, England, France, Canada, USA and South Africa all qualified directly, with Wales and Ireland qualifying through the Six Nations, Sweden and Scotland from the European qualifiers in May, Australia as the Oceania qualifier and Kazakhstan from Asia.

See fixture list

Pool A
20 Aug, 14:00 Wales 12-26 Australia Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 1), Guildford
20 Aug, 16:15 New Zealand 55-3 South Africa Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 1), Guildford
24 Aug, 12:00 Wales 10-15 South Africa Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 2), Guildford
24 Aug, 16:15 New Zealand 32-5 Australia Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 1), Guildford
28 Aug, 14:00 New Zealand 41-8 Wales Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 1), Guildford
28 Aug, 16:15 Australia 62-0 South Africa Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 1), Guildford
Pool B
20 Aug, 14:15 USA 51-0 Kazakhstan Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 2), Guildford
20 Aug, 18:30 England 27-0 Ireland Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 1), Guildford
24 Aug, 16:30 USA 12-22 Ireland Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 2), Guildford
24 Aug, 18:30 England 82-0 Kazakhstan Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 1), Guildford
28 Aug, 16:30 Ireland 37-3 Kazakhstan Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 2), Guildford
28 Aug, 18:30 England 37-10 USA Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 1), Guildford
Pool C
20 Aug, 12:00 Canada 37-10 Scotland Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 2), Guildford
20 Aug, 16:30 France 15-9 Sweden Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 2), Guildford
24 Aug, 14:00 France 17-7 Scotland Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 1), Guildford
24 Aug, 14:15 Canada 40-10 Sweden Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 2), Guildford
28 Aug, 12:00 Scotland 32-5 Sweden Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 2), Guildford
28 Aug, 14:15 France 23-8 Canada Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 2), Guildford
9th Place Semi Final
01 Sep, 14:00 South Africa 25-10 Kazakhstan Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 2), Guildford
01 Sep, 14:15 Wales 32-10 Sweden Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 1), Guildford
5th Place Semi Final
01 Sep, 16:15 Canada 41-0 Scotland Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 2), Guildford
01 Sep, 16:30 Ireland 3-40 USA Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 1), Guildford
Semi Finals
01 Sep, 18:00 New Zealand 45-7 France Twickenham Stoop, Twickenham
01 Sep, 20:15 England 15-0 Australia Twickenham Stoop, Twickenham
11th Place Play-Off
05 Sep, 11:00 Kazakhstan 12-8 Sweden Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 2), Guildford
9th Place Play-Off
05 Sep, 13:15 South Africa 17-29 Wales Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 2), Guildford
7th Place Play-Off
05 Sep, 11:15 Scotland 8-32 Ireland Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 1), Guildford
5th Place Play-Off
05 Sep, 13:30 Canada 20-23 USA Surrey Sports Park (Pitch 1), Guildford
3rd Place Play-Off
05 Sep, 15:00 France 8-22 Australia Twickenham Stoop, Twickenham
05 Sep, 17:15 New Zealand 13-10 England Twickenham Stoop, Twickenham


Pool A
Team W D L PTS
New Zealand 3 0 0 15
Australia 2 0 1 10
South Africa 1 0 2 4
Wales 0 0 3 1
Pool B
Team W D L PTS
England 3 0 0 15
Ireland 2 0 1 10
USA 1 0 2 5
Kazakhstan 0 0 3 0
Pool C
Team W D L PTS
France 3 0 0 13
Canada 2 0 1 10
Scotland 1 0 2 5
Sweden 0 0 3 1
  • A crowd of 13.253 watched New Zealand beat England 13-10 in the final at the Twickenham Stoop with Kelly Brazier's penalty 14 minutes from time proving the winning kick.

  • Carla Hohepa of New Zealand was named the IRB Women's Personality of the Year 2010 in association with Emirates Airline after the final. The other nominees were Australia wing Nicole Beck and England duo Maggie Alphonsi and Danielle Waterman.

  • The Black Ferns have now won 19 consecutive World Cup matches since their only defeat, a 7-0 loss to USA in the 1991 semi finals.

  • The three-point winning margin is the closest any team has come to beating New Zealand in their four World Cup winning campaigns since.

  • New Zealand's victory margin at The Stoop is also the smallest in a Women's Rugby World Cup final. The biggest, by contrast, is 32 points from the 1998 final when the Black Ferns beat USA 44-12 in Amsterdam.

  • Thirty thousand fans attended the 30 matches at Women's Rugby World Cup 2010, be it at Surrey Sports Park or the Twickenham Stoop.

  • New Zealand end the tournament as the leading point scorers with 186 - an average of 37.20 per match. England are the next more prolific point scorers, helped by their 82-0 defeat of Kazakhstan in Pool B.

  • England conceded the fewest points with 23 across the five matches, 10 fewer than champions New Zealand. Kazakhstan conceded the most at 203, with Scotland, South Africa, Sweden and Wales all leaking more than a century of points.

  • A total of 202 points were scored on the final day, bringing the total for the tournament to 1193. This is 14 points more than were scored at WRWC 2006 in Canada.

  • The honour as the leading try scorer of the tournament is shared between Black Ferns flyer Carla Hohepa and Canada wing Heather Moyse with seven. Moyse matched her tally of seven four years, which made her the top try scorer then.

  • Nine players scored four tries at WRWC 2010 with Ireland number 8 Joy Neville the only forward among them.

  • Kelly Brazier's title-winning penalty means she ends Women's Rugby World Cup 2010 as the leading point scorer with 48, taking her above Canada fly half Anna Schnell by two points with USA No.10 Christy Ringgenberg third best on 44 points.

  • Champions New Zealand end the tournament as the leading try scorers with 30, five more than next best England. Kazakhstan and Sweden scored the fewest with four across the five matches.

  • Hosts England conceded the fewest tries with just three across five matches with defending champions New Zealand having their try-line breached four times. Kazakkhstan conceded the most tries with 30.

  • For the second matchday running there were no hat-tricks. This means there have been five hat-tricks at WRWC 2010, scored by Kelly Brazier (New Zealand), Carla Hohepa (New Zealand), Heather Moyse (Canada), Fiona Pocock (England) and Charlotte Barras (England).

  • The average number of points per match at WRWC 2010 is 39.77 - 22.07 in the first half and 17.70 coming after the break.

  • There were no drop goals at Women's Rugby World Cup 2010.

  • Twenty-nine tries were scored on the final day of Women's Rugby World Cup 2010, bringing the total for the tournament to 182 - three more than were touched down at the previous edition in Canada.

  • A total of 35 penalties were kicked at Women's Rugby World Cup 2010.

  • Kazakhstan and Sweden were the only sides to average less than a try a match.

  • The average number of tries per match at WRWC 2010 is 6.07, with slightly more cxoming in the first half - 3.23 to 2.83 after the break.

  • Only 89 of the 182 tries scored in the tournament were turned into seven pointers.

  • Inaugural World Cup winners USA remain the only nation to break through the 1,000 point barrier with New Zealand failing to score the 31 points in the final that they needed to follow in their footsteps.

  • The average number of penalties per match was 1.17.

  • Ninety-six players scored tries at Women's Rugby World Cup 2010.

  • Canada fly half Anna Schnell kicked the most conversions in the tournament with 14, one more than her English counterpart Katy McLean. Nicole Beck of Australia, New Zealand's Kelly Brazier and Christy Ringgenberg of the USA were the next best with 11.

  • Sweden were the only side not to taste victory at WRWC 2010.

  • Schnell also ended WRWC 2010 with the most penalties on six, one more than Sweden's inspirational captain Ulrika Andersson-Hall.

  • Six nations - France, Kazakhstan, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden and Wales - end the tournament with a negative point differential.

  • A total of 65 yellow cards were handed out across the 36 matches with Kazahstan receiving the most at 10, one more than South Africa. By contrast England and Scotland had only one player sin-binned in the duration of the tournament.

  • Eight players received two cards in the tournament in Phaidra Knight (USA), Lorinda Brown (South Africa), Marie Louise Reilly (Ireland), Phumeza Gadu (South Africa), Jenny Ohman (Sweden), Svetlana Karatygina (Kazakhstan), Namhla Siyolo (South Africa) and Anna Yakovleva (Kazakshtan).

  • Kazakhstan received the tournament's only two red cards with scrum half Amina Baratova's against South Africa and then second row Svetlana Karatygina in their victory over Sweden.

And finally ...

With the 12 teams housed at Surrey Sports Park for the duration of the tournament, some interesting statistics emerge from the quantities of food to cater for them all.

  • The number of meals prepared were 31,500.
  • Over 25,000 eggs were used.
  • More than 30,000 yoghurts were consumed.
  • Over 10,000 mushrooms were used in the cooking.
  • The players munched their way through more than 6,000 bananas.

2006 Women's RWC

In 2006, the Women's Rugby World Cup broke new ground with Canada becoming the first non-European nation to host the pinnacle tournament in the Women's Game, one which saw South Africa grace the stage for the first time. The first African nation to compete in the tournament, South Africa were on the end of some heavy losses, but will have learned plenty from the experience.

One thing evident was that the bar had been raised yet again from 2002, the winning margins on the whole generally smaller with sides more competitive. However, it was the usual suspects who would contest the semi finals once more with New Zealand determined to retain their stranglehold on the trophy, England eager to avenge their 2002 final loss and France and Canada targeting a first ever title showdown.

A try by Amiria Marsh in the first minute was an ominous warning sign for France of the Black Ferns' intent and five tries later a 40-10 victory had been secured in Edmonton. England had a tougher task to reach a fourth final against the hosts Canada, two tries from Charlotte Barras ultimately seeing the former champions secure a tight 20-13 victory.

England immediately took the game to the defending champions, but tries from Monalisa Codling and Stephanie Mortimer edged the Black Ferns into a lead before a period of sustained pressure was rewarded with a penalty try to leave the champions with only a 15-10 advantage.

The score remained that way for a while before Victoria Heighway and Helen Clayton traded tries to cut the deficit to just three points with only as many minutes remaining. There was to be no fairytale comeback for England, Marsh easing any nerves with another try to extend the Black Ferns run to 14 victories in a row on the WRWC stage and send captain Palmer off into retirement in style. write-up:

New Zealand have been crowned Women's Rugby World Cup champions for an unprecedented third time after a hard fought but pulsating 25-17 defeat of England at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Canada.

A try by full back Amiria Marsh in the final minute eased any nerves that may have been setting in for the Black Ferns after England kept alive their hopes of snatching victory with a 77th minute try by replacement Helen Clayton.

However it was not to be their day again - just as it was not four years earlier when they lost 19-9 in the final - as the New Zealand celebrations began to mark not only three in a row, but a 14th straight Women's RWC victory that ensured captain Farah Palmer lifted the trophy again before retiring.

It was England who drew first blood in the match with a third minute penalty by fly half Karen Andrew, their reward for taking it straight to the two-time defending champions and signalling their intentions for the game.

Black Ferns scrum half Emma Jensen missed a ninth minute penalty before a knock on metres from her own line by full back Amiria Marsh put her side under pressure. England though could not turn it into points and New Zealand stole the ball to clear their lines.

Perfectly weighted

Andrews missed the chance to stretch England's lead with a failed penalty attempt after 16 minutes, allowing Jensen to leave the score with her first successful kick of the game seven minutes later.

A second penalty miss by Jensen seemed to mean the half time score would be locked at 3-3 with neither side willing to give the other an inch in a fiercely competitive match which highlighted the strengths of the women's game.

However a wonderfully deft cross field kick by Marsh, who had a few minutes earlier received lengthy treatment on what appeared to be a hip injury, found a gap on the right and it was worked through for Monalisa Codling, playing in her third Women's RWC final, to run to score the opening try of the showpiece.

Jensen added the conversion to make it 10-3 and a long range penalty miss by Andrews for England meant that was the half time score. It would not remain that way for long though, as in the opening minute Melissa Ruscoe found wing Stephanie Mortimer who had the pace to cross.

England though came back at the Black Ferns and were rewarded for some intense pressure on their line when referee Simon McDowell awarded them a penalty try, sparking celebrations among the England front row.

Nailbiting finale

That brought the score to 15-10 and it remained that way for some 20 minutes of end to end action, although Mortimer came close to grabbing a second try but put a foot in touch before being bundled into the flag by an desperate England tackle.

The New Zealand pressure finally told though when lock Victoria Heighway collected off the top of the lineout and was driven over by her fellow forwards for her second try of the tournament, stretching their lead to 20-10 after Jensen's conversion came back off the post.

England though, desperate to avoid another bitter final defeat, continued to fight and got the try they craved when replacement Helen Clayton was pushed over, the flanker twisting round to touch the ball down behind her.

Shelley Rae's conversion brought them to within three points with less than three minutes remaining and as the possibility of an extra time forcing score came to mind, New Zealand had the final say with a break by Mortimer finding Marsh with the pace and space to score.

Jensen missed the conversion, but it didn't matter as within seconds the celebrations were under way for the Black Ferns with a 14th straight Women's RWC victory and, more importantly, a third world crown to send captain Farah Palmer into retirement with.


New Zealand coach Jed Rowlands: "When I took over after the last World Cup I was thankful Farah and some others chose not to retire. I think it was important to have continuity on our squad. We worked very hard and were lucky to have two tours to Canada to give our younger players some experience.

"I'm very please with our team's performance in the tournament. The other countries are getting better and England was disrupting our ball. We had to adjust at half time, which is a testament to the higher standards in the game.

"Scoring at the last instant was a great way to finish the game and have that be the last play. We came here to score tries and we did that. For us, it's the best way to finish."

New Zealand captain Farah Palmer: "I don't think the other finals meant any less than this one just because it was my last for New Zealand. It's a great way to finish my career as a Black Fern, but as our coach says it's just a game like any other. I need to lift my standards to every game equally.

"I felt this final was a lot tougher than the last. We were on defence much more than in previous World Cups. England were hitting us really hard and it was an intense match.

"We put a lot of pressure on ourselves because we have high standards. We know everyone is working at how to beat us. People at home expect a win, but that's why we play an elite sport. We love the pressure.

"The key moment in the match for us was coming out in the second half to score right away. It really lifted our spirits because our call at half time was to be patient. We've been used to scoring on breakaways and we needed to set up some phases. It's hard to be patient, but it's very important."

England coach Geoff Richards: "We were turning over a lot of ball in the first half and our body height was miles too high. At half time we talked about that and slowing their ball down. Just to keep going. I knew we could make a contest of it.

"Our strategy was to stop their pace out wide. It's difficult to defend when you are constantly defending phase after phase after phase. They were camped on our line for so long and we kept them out. Eventually, the dam wall burst and they made it through.

"We wanted to take them in the scrum and I think we did. Our set pieces worked really well. Unfortunately, you need primary possession to win games. We had it in the first half, but not in the second. We need to look to control the ball and recycle under pressure.

"From here, we'll regroup. We've got an exciting young crop of players coming through, some of whom were here today to start that. We have system in place and our programs are really producing rugby players who can take on best in the world. We will go back and work very, very hard.

"Obviously we are just really devastated at the final. To not come up with the result is difficult after all our effort and work. Our girls gave all they had and more."

England captain Jo Yapp: "It means an awful lot to play with a team like we've got behind us. They are such a great bunch of players. We play for each other and have great team spirit. To come here with that kind of team behind us is really special.

"We gave everything we could. New Zealand never gave up. I think it was a really hard fought contest. We'll look back and say it was a good final. Our ability to keep going under pressure and the pressure we put on them was really great. We never gave up for 80 minutes. We always believed we could do it and that belief was there until that final try."

England centre Sue Day: "To be honest, once you get on the pitch anything that's gone on before is out of the picture. It's all about giving it everything you can on the day. I think it was a pretty good rugby match today. Obviously New Zealand are a very, very good side."

  wrwc captains  
WRWC 2006 Captains - Photo credit IRB


31/08/2006, 12:00
  Scotland   St. Albert Rugby Football Club, Edmonton
31/08/2006, 14:30
  Samoa   Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton
31/08/2006, 14:30
  South Africa   St. Albert Rugby Football Club, Edmonton
31/08/2006, 17:00
  Ireland   St. Albert Rugby Football Club, Edmonton
31/08/2006, 17:00
  USA   Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton
31/08/2006, 12:05
  New Zealand  
  Canada   Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton
4/09/2006, 12:00
  USA   Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton
4/09/2006, 12:00
  New Zealand  
  Samoa   St. Albert Rugby Football Club, Edmonton
4/09/2006, 14:30
  Scotland   St. Albert Rugby Football Club, Edmonton
4/09/2006, 14:30
  South Africa   Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton
4/09/2006, 17:00
  France   Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton
4/09/2006, 17:00
  Canada   St. Albert Rugby Football Club, Edmonton
8/09/2006, 12:00
  Samoa   Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton
8/09/2006, 12:00
  South Africa   St. Albert Rugby Football Club, Edmonton
8/09/2006, 14:30
  USA   St. Albert Rugby Football Club, Edmonton
8/09/2006, 14:30
  Canada   Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton
8/09/2006, 17:00
  New Zealand  
  Scotland   Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton
8/09/2006, 17:00
  France   St. Albert Rugby Football Club, Edmonton

12/09/2006 - Semi finals

12/09/2006, 14:30
  New Zealand
  France   Ellerslie Rugby Park
12/09/2006, 17:00
  Canada   Ellerslie Rugby Park
12/09/2006, 17:00
  Ireland   St. Albert Rugby Football Club
12/09/2006, 14:30
  Australia   St. Albert Rugby Football Club
12/09/2006, 12:00
  South Africa   St. Albert Rugby Football Club
12/09/2006, 12:00
  Kazakhstan   Ellerslie Rugby Park

16/09/2006 - Consolation finals

16/09/2006, 12:00
  South Africa  
  Kazakhstan   Ellerslie Rugby Park
16/09/2006, 14:30
  Spain   Ellerslie Rugby Park
16/09/2006, 17:00
  Australia   Ellerslie Rugby Park

17/09/2006 - Finals

17/09/2006; 12:00
  Scotland   0-24   USA   Commonwealth Stadium
17/09/2006, 14:30
  Canada   8-17   France   Commonwealth Stadium
17/09/2006, 17:00
  New Zealand   25-17   England   Commonwealth Stadium


Women's Rugby World Cup 2002 held in Spain is regarded as a watershed in the short history of the Women's Game. The final between New Zealand and England set new standards of excellence in terms of skill, fitness and comprehension, firmly placing the Women's Game on the map.

Samoa made their debut on the WRWC stage and enjoyed a dream first match, beating Ireland 22-0 in Santboiana, but from the opening round where New Zealand crushed Germany 117-0 and England brushed aside Italy 63-9 they again seemed destined for another head to head in the final.

The mouth-watering final duly arrived and neither side disappointed, producing not just a good women's match, but an excellent display of rugby by anyone's standards, a fabulous mix of tactical awareness, gritty forward play and attacking rugby.

The Olympic Stadium in Barcelona was a fitting backdrop for a final which was screened live in the middle of the night back in New Zealand, not to mention witnessed by an 8,000 crowd in the stands. The Black Ferns were worthy winners, tries either side of half time from Monique Hirovanaa and Cheryl Waaka taking them out to a lead that England were never able to rein in, losing 19-9.

Final: New Zealand 19-9 England

3rd/4th: France 41-7 Canada
5th/6th: Australia 30-0 Scotland
7th/8th: USA 23-0 Spain
9th/10th: Samoa 17-14 Wales
11th/12th: Kazakhstan 20-3 Italy
13th/14th: Ireland 23-3 Japan
15th/16th: Netherlands 20-19 Germany

1 New Zealand 117-0 Germany Cornella
2 Australia 30-0 Wales Santboiana
3 USA 87-0 Netherlands Santboiana
4 France 31-12 Kazakhstan Santboiana
5 England 63-9 Italy Cornella
6 Spain 62-0 Japan Cornella
7 Canada 57-0 Ireland Girona
8 Scotland 13-3 Samoa Girona
9 Germany 0-75 Wales Girona
10 Netherlands 10-37 Kazakhstan Girona
11 Italy 30-3 Japan Santboiana
12 Ireland 0-22 Samoa Santboiana
13 New Zealand 36-3 Australia Cornella
14 USA 30-0 France Girona
15 England 13-5 Spain Cornella
16 Canada 11-0 Scotland Girona
17 Germany 0-18 Ireland Girona
18 Japan 37-3 Netherlands Girona
19 Wales 35-3 Italy Santboiana
20 Samoa 9-5 Kazakhstan Santboiana
21 Australia 17-5 USA Girona
22 Scotland 23-16 Spain Cornella
23 New Zealand 30-0 France Cornella
24 Canada 10-53 England Girona
25 Germany 19-20 Netherlands Zaragoza
26 Japan 3-23 Ireland Girona
27 Italy 3-20 Kazakhstan Santboiana
28 Wales 14-17 Samoa Santboiana
29 USA 23-5 Spain Santboiana
30 Australia 30-0 Scotland Girona
31 Canada 7-41 France Olympic Stadium
32 England 9-19 New Zealand Olympic Stadium



By the time 1998 came around, the first tournament officially under the auspices of the International Rugby Board, in Amsterdam, it was apparent that the returning New Zealand side, led by their inspirational captain Farah Palmer, would be the main side to challenge the previous champions.

With a field extended to 16 teams, the tournament produced some compelling rugby with New Zealand, England, USA and Canada living up to their billing as title contenders by reaching the semi finals.

Defending champions England ruthlessly swept aside Sweden, Canada and Australia to set up the semi final everyone wanted to see against New Zealand, the Black Ferns having been equally impressive in beating newcomers Germany - by a WRWC record 134-6 - along with Scotland and Spain.

The other semi final was an all North American affair, Canada having recovered from that loss to England to beat France 25-7 in the quarter finals to face 1991 champions USA, the 25-10 conquerors of Scotland in the last eight.

Palmer's side had been expected to reach the final, but the manner of their victory was surprising, the Black Ferns ending England's reign as champions with an emphatic 44-11 triumph to signify the beginning of their dominance on the international stage. USA were equally impressive in their own semi final, dispatching Canada 46-6.

However, despite playing in their third successive final, the USA women were powerless to stop the Black Ferns claiming a first title with Vanessa Cootes grabbing the headlines by running in four of New Zealand's eight tries in a 44-12 victory.

Final: New Zealand 44-12 USA

3rd/4th: England 85-15 Canada
5th/6th (Plate Final): Australia 25-15 Scotland
7th/8th: Spain 22-9 France
9th/10th (Bowl Final): Ireland 10-26 Kazakhstan
11th/12th: Italy 10-12 Wales
13th/14th (Shield Final): Netherlands 67-3 Germany
15th/16th: Russia 3-23 Sweden

May1st Canada v Netherlands 16 – 7
May 2nd Spain v Wales 28 – 18
NZ v Germany 134 – 6
France v Kazakhstan 23 – 6
USA v Russia 84 - 0
England v Sweden 75 – 0
Australia v Ireland 21 – 0
Scotland v Italy 37 – 8
May 5th Canada v England 6 – 72
USA v Spain 38 – 16
France v Australia 10 – 8
NZ v Scotland 76 - 0
Netherlands v Sweden 44 – 0
Russia v Wales 7 – 83
Kazakhstan v Ireland 12 – 6
Germany v Italy 5 – 34
May 9th England v Australia 30 – 13
USA v Scotland 25 – 10
France v Canada 7 – 9
NZ v Spain 46 – 3
Netherlands v Ireland 18 – 21
Wales v Germany 55 – 12
Kazakhstan v Sweden 47 – 5
Italy v Russia 51 – 7
May 12th England v NZ 11 – 44
USA v Canada 46 – 6
Australia v Spain 17 – 15
Scotland v France 27 – 7
Ireland v Italy 20 – 5
Wales v Kazakhstan 13 – 18
Netherlands v Russia 61 – 0
Germany v Sweden 20 – 18
Finals Russia v Sweden 3 – 23
May 15th Italy v Wales 10 – 12
Netherlands v Germany 67 – 3 Shield
Ireland v Kazakhstan 10 – 26 Bowl
May 16th England v Canada 31 – 15
France v Spain 9 – 22
Australia v Scotland 25 – 15 Plate
New Zealand v USA 44 – 12 Cup


Three years later the teams converged on Edinburgh with Kazakhstan and Ireland making their first appearances on the Women's Rugby World Cup stage. The competition threw up some interesting results, but it was clear from early on that defending champions USA and England were the sides to beat.

Both sides cruised through to the final again, although this time England exacted revenge for their 1991 defeat, producing a superb performance to triumph 38-23 in a hugely entertaining contest to determine the champions.

April 11-24 1994, Edinburgh
Pool A USA 111 Sweden 0
Sweden 5 Japan 10
USA 121 Japan 0
Pool B England 66 Russia 0
Scotland 51 Russia 0
Scotland 0 England 26
Pool C France 77 Scottish Students 0
Scottish Students 5 Ireland 18
France 31 Ireland 0
Pool D Canada 5 Wales 11
Wales 29 Kazakhstan 8
Canada 28 Kazakhstan 0
Quarter Finals USA 76 Ireland 0
England 24 Canada 10
France 99 Japan 0
Wales 8 Scotland 0
Semi Finals USA 56 Wales 15
England 18 France 6
FINAL England 38 USA 23
3rd/4th Playoff France 27 Wales 0
Shield Semi-Finals Canada 57 Japan 0
Ireland 3 Scotland 10
Shield Final Scotland 11 Canada 5
Shield 3rd/4th Japan 3 Ireland 11
Plate Round Sweden 20 Russia 13
Robin Scottish Students 0 Kazakhstan 27
Sweden 14 Scottish Students 12
Russia 0 Kazakhstan 25
Sweden 12 Kazakhstan 31
Scottish Students 12Russia 24
Plate Final Kazakhstan 29 Sweden 12


Twelve teams contested that first tournament in Cardiff from 6-14 April in hosts Wales, Canada, England, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, USA and the USSR.

England and USA booked their places in the inaugural final by shutting out France and New Zealand respectively, with the women from North America getting their hands on the silverware with a 19-6 victory.

April 6-14 1991, Cardiff
Pool 1 New Zealand 24 Canada8
Wales 9 Canada 9
New Zealand 24 Wales 6
Pool 2 France 62 Japan 0
Sweden 0 France 37
Japan 0 Sweden 20
Pool 3 USA 7 Netherlands 0
Netherlands 28 USSR 0
Pool 4 England 12 Spain 0
Italy 9 England 25
Spain 13 Italy 7
Semi Finals New Zealand 0 USA 7
England 13 France 0
Final USA 19 England 6


Credit: Much of the text on this page is credited to the IRB.

Women's International Results

A database of Women's International match results 1982-2009 supplied by John Birch can be found here.

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