World Rugby Announces New Global Women's League

    • The 16-team league will begin in 2023.
    • World Rugby plans to invest $8.85 million in the first two years.

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Fall 2023 will mark the first season of the WXV — a women’s rugby league comprising 16 teams across the globe. The new league was announced today.

The WXV will take place every year, besides Rugby World Cup years, and consists of three tiers. The first tier, WXV1, will have a cross-pool format in a one-location tournament determined each year.

The league was formed partially as a way for athletes to prepare for the 2025 World Cup. The Women’s Rugby World Cup that was supposed to take place this year was postponed to 2022.

“This is an ambitious, long-term commitment to make the global game more competitive, to grow the women’s game and support the expansion of Rugby World Cup to 16 teams from 2025 and beyond,” said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont.

World Rugby plans to invest $8.85 million in the women’s league over the first two years. Teams will qualify depending on the outcome of their annual regional competitions, including the Women’s Six Nations.

Female participation in rugby was at an all-time high in 2019 with 2.7 million players worldwide.