The inaugural WXV tournament continues this weekend. This new international women’s rugby competition is broken down into three tiers, each acting as standalone tournaments hosted by different nations. Friday sees the start of WXV 1, whilst the second and third divisions go into their second weeks.
World Rugby claims that the aim of the tournament is to ‘revolutionise the women’s international rugby landscape’. It is hoped that WXV will provide greater levels of competition between nations in a way not seen outside of World Cups.
England kick off WXV 1 on Friday morning in New Zealand, against Australia. Saturday sees Canada play Wales, followed by the hosts, New Zealand, taking on France.
England will be looking to add depth at scrumhalf, handing a first start to Saracens’ Ella Wyrwas. Loughborough Lightning backrow Daisy Hibbert-Jones will be looking to make her debut from the bench.
This will be the two sides’ first meeting since the Red Roses claimed sodden 41-5 victory at last year’s World Cup quarter-final.
Wales kick-off their campaign against Canada. They remain unchanged from their warm-up fixture against the United States. Having announced that they will now have 32 full-time professionals, Wales will surely be targeting further growth this year.
World Champions New Zealand face France, in what looks to be the match of the weekend. The Black Ferns are on a 16-match winning streak, having come closest to losing when the two sides faced off in a one-point thriller in last year’s World Cup semi-final.
WXV 2 continues with the United States looking to back up their victory over Samoa against Scotland. Hosts South Africa face Italy, whilst Samoa and Japan will be playing for their maiden tournament wins.
WXV 3 continues in Dubai as Kazakhstan play Kenya, Spain face Fiji, and early leaders Ireland take on Colombia.
Sam Bytheway, presenter of The Womens Rugby Show, stated: “WXV 2 and 3 are prime examples of the importance in the competition, especially this weekend when in WXV 3 none of the teams have faced each other before. WXV [will be] providing more competitive test match experience for teams like Kenya, Colombia, and Kazakhstan.”
“WXV 2 and 3 are prime examples of the importance in the competition, especially this weekend when in WXV 3 none of the teams have faced each other before. WXV [will be] providing more competitive test match experience for teams like Kenya, Colombia, and Kazakhstan.”
England and Wales matches will be streamed on ITVX, with all other fixtures available on RugbyPass TV.
Fixtures (all times BST):
Friday 20th October:
WVX 1: England vs Wales, 7am, ITVX
WXV 2: United States vs Scotland, 1pm, RugbyPass TV
WXV 3: Kazakhstan vs Kenya, 2pm, RugbyPass TV
WXV 2: Italy vs South Africa, 3:30pm, RugbyPass TV
WXV 3: Spain vs Fiji, 4:30pm, RugbyPass TV
Saturday 21st October:
WXV 1: Canada vs Wales, 4am, ITVX
WXV 1: New Zealand vs France, 7am, RugbyPass TV
WXV 3: Ireland vs Colombia, 2pm, RugbyPass TV
WXV 2: Japan vs Samoa, 3pm, RugbyPass TV