Eden Park to stage women's RWC final

Eden Park will stage the last four matches of next year's women's Rugby World Cup, a tournament expected to attract record crowds.

New Zealand's iconic sports venue Eden Park will host the medal rounds of the women's Rugby World Cup next year.

Organisers announced on Tuesday the country's pre-eminent sports ground in Auckland will be the venue for both semi-finals, the bronze play-off and the final on October 16.

It will be just the second time the tournament decider is played at a recognised major men's international stadium. The first was when the inaugural final was played at Cardiff Arms Park in Wales in 1991.

Eden Park staged the final of the men's World Cup in 1987 and 2011, both of which were won by the All Blacks.

All of the pool matches will be played at two other venues - Auckland's Waitakere Stadium and the Northland Events Centre in Whangarei.

New Zealand was announced as host last November, seeing off Australia's bid. It is the first time the tournament has been staged in the southern hemisphere.

Australia is among nine nations already qualified for what will be a 12-country event. The draw is still to be announced.

World Rugby is expecting the tournament starting on September 18 to break viewership records.

"Women's rugby is the single-biggest opportunity to grow the global game and we are confident that New Zealand 2021 will be one of the great Rugby World Cups, attracting a new fan and player base for the sport," World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said.

New Zealand's Black Ferns have claimed five of the last six world titles, including a 41-32 defeat of England in the 2017 final at Belfast's Kingspan Stadium.


AAP