England drawn in same pool as rivals France for 2021 RWC

Ruben Hill
November 22, 2020

The draws for the Women's World Cup 2021 took place in New Zealand this morning conducted by the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Arden.

"It's going to be wonderful", New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at the draw ceremony at Auckland's Sky City casino.

Pool A will see defending champions New Zealand go up against Australia, Wales and the victor of the final qualifying tournament.

The United States, Canada and an Asian qualifier have been drawn in Pool B, along with the winners of the European qualifying tournament.

Fiji is in Pool C and will play 2017 runner-ups, England, France and South Africa.

Black Ferns captain Eloise Blackwell said there was always added spice when New Zealand play Australia.

The top seven teams at the 2017 Rugby World Cup in Ireland directly qualified for the 2021 edition, including defending champions New Zealand, runners-up England, bronze medallists France, losing semi-finalists US, Canada, Australia and Wales.

"If we want to win the World Cup we're going to have to play the best teams along the way so if they're in our pool that is what we focus on".

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont, who could not be in attendance owing to the ongoing global pandemic, voiced confidence in New Zealand Rugby to deliver a game-changing event to supercharge women's rugby globally.

Officials say it is the biggest deal in Rugby League World Cup history and the largest rugby league commercial agreement outside Australia.

Matches will be held in Auckland and Whangarei, with the final at Eden Park, which hosted the 1987 and 2011 men's World Cup finals.

Beaumont said: "New Zealand 2021 will be one of the great Rugby World Cups".

"An opportunity to break down gender discrimination in sport".

'New Zealand 2021, coupled with the enormous stage that the Olympics provides, will champion that mantra in a golden year for women in rugby and a year of celebration for our sport'.

Les Bleues are now ranked fourth in the world behind England, New Zealand and Canada.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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