Hosting World Cup a factor in staging women's competition: New Zealand Rugby

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New Zealand will host the tournament for the first time next year from Sept. 18-Oct.16
New Zealand will host the tournament for the first time next year from Sept. 18-Oct.16

Wellington - Super Rugby Aotearoa would allow NZR to fund other competitions and programmes

By Reuters

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Published: Fri 29 May 2020, 11:44 AM

Last updated: Fri 29 May 2020, 1:50 PM

Hosting the 2021 World Cup was a factor in deciding to push ahead with New Zealand's women's provincial competition despite financial issues, the head of women's rugby in the country has told Reuters.
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) confirmed on Friday the Farah Palmer Cup would start on Aug. 22, ending concerns it could be cancelled due to COVID-19 cost cutting.
"The Farah Palmer Cup is our elite competition," NZR's Cate Sexton told Reuters, adding that there had been no internal discussions on cancelling it.
"We knew that from a national selectors' point of view they use it to identify players (and) ... we felt it was really important to have a Farah Palmer Cup as a buildup for the World Cup."
New Zealand, whose Black Ferns have won the World Cup five times, is to host the tournament for the first time next year from Sept. 18-Oct.16.
With NZR facing financial pressures even before the fallout from the coronavirus, several top players voiced concerns about the provincial competition being cancelled, which could be seen in a negative light a year out from the World Cup.
Sexton, however, said there had been no pressure from World Rugby to ensure the domestic competition went ahead.
The delay in making an announcement had been down to ensuring NZR was able to generate revenue from a domestic competition involving the men's Super Rugby teams.
Super Rugby Aotearoa, which starts on June 13, would allow NZR to fund other competitions and programmes.
"It was about ensuring we can play rugby again and generate revenue and that had to be our priority," she said.
"The women's game is not, at this stage of its maturity, covering its own costs."
Ensuring that all 13 teams could field sides had also taken time to confirm and the competition was "still very much in its infancy," she added.
"We do have to work closely with the unions to make sure they can commit to it."


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