Due to the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship – scheduled for November this year in New Zealand – has been cancelled, following the cancellation of the Oceania Rugby Men’s and Women’s Sevens Championship.
The decision by Oceania Rugby was made in collaboration with New Zealand Rugby through consultation with relevant government and public health authorities, and prioritises the wellbeing of the regional rugby community and wider public.
Oceania Rugby General Manager, Bruce Cook, said appropriate decisions had to be made, and ensuring the health and wellbeing of players, officials and public in the Oceania region remained the number one priority.
“Given the exponential global growth of women’s rugby and the opportunity to once again showcase our women’s talent across the region leading into next year’s all important Rugby World Cup, the cancellation of the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship was a very difficult and sad decision to make,” Cook said.
“As with other key tournaments we have had to sadly cancel, the decisions have been made right at the last moment in the hope of providing our athletes the opportunity to return to play,” he added.
The Rugby World Cup Repechage Qualifier between Samoa and Tonga which was to be played during the Championship has however been retained and is planned for Auckland in November.
The 2019 Oceania Rugby Women’s Championships was the biggest tournament to date, with six teams that included New Zealand Development XV, Australia A, Fijiana XV, Manusina XV, Papua New Guinea Palais and Tonga Women’s XV team. Through the 2019 tournament, the Fijiana XV qualified for the 2021 Rugby World Cup.
Words from Oceania Rugby