World Rugby Announces Gender Neutral Naming For Rugby World Cup Tournaments

Neutral.

World Rugby has announced that its flagship 15s and sevens Rugby World Cup properties will no longer include gender in their titles.

In a first for a major sporting federation, the women’s designation will be dropped from Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand which will now be named Rugby World Cup 2021, starting the global roll out.

The groundbreaking move will ensure that the competitions have equal billing from a brand perspective, regardless of whether the events feature men or women. The purpose is to elevate the profile of the women’s game, while eliminating any inherent or perceived bias towards men’s only competitions and tournaments, which traditionally haven’t specified gender.

The decision to adopt a consistent approach to the naming of these events and tournaments was based on a recommendation brought before Council by the Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Board. It is underpinned by World Rugby’s key strategic priority to advance gender balance at all levels of rugby under its ambitious global action plan, ‘Accelerating the Global Development of Women in Rugby 2017-2025’.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said:

“This announcement demonstrates our ongoing and unwavering commitment to advancing women in rugby both on and off the field in line with our ambitious strategic plan.”

“Unintentional gender bias in sport is an ongoing issue. As a global sporting federation we need to be leading from the front on the issue of equality. By adopting gender balance in the naming of men’s and women’s Rugby World Cup competitions, we are setting new standards in equality in rugby.”

World Rugby Women’s Advisory Committee Chair Serge Simon said:

“This is much more than an initiative – it is the ultimate statement of equality and a first for sport. I am excited about this landmark decision, but this is the beginning of the journey. Together, we are working hard to do something very special for women, for the game.”