The Rugby Africa Women’s Cup will be held at the Bosman Stadium in Johannesburg on 9, 13 and 17 August, with the first matchday of the tournament marking National Women’s Day in South Africa.
The competition will see hosts South Africa, Kenya, Madagascar and Uganda play three games each in a round-robin format where the winner will directly qualify for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand.
After winning the 2017 event in Ireland, New Zealand will be looking to defend the title on home soil.
The top seven teams from Rugby World Cup 2017 – New Zealand, England, USA, France, Canada, Australia and Wales – have already secured automatic qualification for the 2021 competition.
Last weekend saw the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship Division I title claimed by Kazakhstan who have been promoted to the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship and will join Japan and Hong Kong in playing at the highest level of the women’s game in the region on 2020.
Promotion to the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship also keeps their dream of appearing at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 alive as the winner of that tournament will qualify for the game’s flagship event in New Zealand.
World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont said: “As the first opportunity to qualify directly through the regional tournaments, the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup signifies a very exciting point in the journey towards Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021.
“Introducing these regional tournaments into the qualification pathway for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 increases the level of competition in the women’s game and allows us to engage more fans in the game worldwide.”
World Rugby is dedicated to growing the women’s game and recently launched a new ‘Women in Rugby’ brand identity and global campaign ‘Try and Stop Us’, aimed at driving increased participation and engagement among fans, audiences, players and investors in the women’s game.