New Zealand wins race to host Women's Rugby World Cup 2021

New Zealand will host the 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand will host the 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup.

World Rugby officials announced at a meeting in Dublin Wednesday that New Zealand had pipped near-neighbours Australia to become the first southern hemisphere hosts in the competition's history.

After their 41-32 win over England in 2017, the current world champions will now get the chance to defend their crown on home soil in the six-week long tournament.

Matches will be played at the 5,000 capacity Waitakere Stadium in Auckland and the Northland Events Centre in Whangarei, with a capacity of up to 20,000 as well as the 25,000 capacity Albany Stadium and Eden Park, which hosted the Rugby World Cup 2011 final.

England, France, Wales and Portugal had also registered an interest in hosting the competition.

Speaking after the announcement, World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "Congratulations to New Zealand on being elected Women's Rugby World Cup 2021 host. They presented a very strong and compelling bid and we look forward to working with New Zealand Rugby to host a successful and inspiring tournament.

"Women's rugby continues to grow with over 2.4 million women and girls playing rugby at all levels, accounting for more than a quarter of players globally. With Women's Rugby World Cup attracting record crowds and broadcast audiences in each of the last three tournaments -- Ireland 2017, France 2014 and England 2010 - I am in no doubt that the 2021 tournament, the first to be held in the Southern Hemisphere, will continue this record-breaking trend."