The annus horribilis of Rugby Australia continued after New Zealand hosted the Women's World Cup in 2021 in Dublin. New Zealand beat Australia 25-17, despite a late-throwing head by female rugby Jilly Collins, CEO Raelene Castle and president Cameron Clyne to the 42-member Rugby World board.
Rugby Australia was confident in securing the rights to become the first country in the southern hemisphere to host the tournament after securing $ 10 million in government funding – $ 7 million more than promised to New Zealand.
Despite winning the support of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, New Zealand, which is the current world champion in men's and women's games, has won the votes of nations and countries in the southern hemisphere that will not have a team in the competition. tournament.
"It's very disappointing, we really put our best foot forward and the support we got from NSW and the federal government was really exceptional," said Castle. "We put an attractive case and the presentation went well, but unfortunately we did not receive the votes on the day.
"The feedback was that our presentation and course were excellent and it was a race in the neck and neck. But there is no doubt that black ferns with their [on field] success influenced the outcome on the day. "
Steve Tew, CEO of New Jersey Rugby, also praised the Australian offer. "It's not very common to compete with Australia and we think it's unfair to win, but today was a day that could have been anyway," said Tew. "They had a very strong offer."
World Rugby president Bill Beaumont said he felt the decision was an international recognition for New Zealand's rugby obsession.
"It almost looked like the tournament was coming home when it was awarded to New Zealand," said Beaumont. "If I were a Kiwi, I think I would go home now.
"All members of the World Rugby Council would have a fully documented assessment of the two proposals. So it was only a matter of fine-tuning and that small parts were enthusiastic and this is what obviously the New Zealanders did very well. "
Despite the blow, Castle insisted that RA's commitment to women's rugby remains strong and attention will now be turned to securing the men's event in 2027.
"It does not change anything in terms of developing our Wallroos, it just means we want to play at home and have to cross Tasman to win the World Cup," said Castle.
"It's a great opportunity, it's in our time zone. It's a great opportunity for the players' families to meet with New Zealand to watch them. We have already said that we are looking forward to hosting the Men's World Cup in 2027, so our whole focus moves to that now. "
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was a proud moment for fans of kiwis and rugby around the world.
"I am very excited about the event being held here. New Zealand is home to women's rugby, the Black Ferns captured our imagination again when they won their fifth World Cup title last year, and our whole country will be behind the tournament and all participating teams in 2021. "