Women’s world cup big kick for econ­omy

Whangarei Report - - NEWS -

Host­ing the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup could bring at least $6.4 mil­lion to Whanga¯ rei’s econ­omy and cre­ate more than 100 jobs.

While the sched­ule of games which will be played here has yet to be con­firmed, Whanga¯ rei District Coun­cil is pro­ject­ing the tour­na­ment will have a “sig­nif­i­cantly greater” eco­nomic im­pact than the 2017 Li­ons tour.

World Rugby an­nounced last Thurs­day that New Zealand had won the bid to host the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup — the first time it will be held in the south­ern hemi­sphere.

Matches will be staged in Auck­land and Whanga¯rei from July to Au­gust, with the fi­nal and, pos­si­bly, semi­fi­nals played at Eden Park.

WDC com­mu­nity, strate­gic lead­er­ship team gen­eral man­ager Sandra Board­man said it is prob­a­ble Whanga¯rei would be al­lo­cated three days of triple­header group games and one day with two quar­ter-fi­nals, mean­ing the city would host up to six teams, each with 40 per­son­nel.

The an­nounce­ment has been wel­comed by lo­cal of­fi­cials and play­ers.

Whanga¯ rei deputy mayor and North­land Rugby Union pres­i­dent Sharon Mor­gan said the an­nounce­ment is a fan­tas­tic out­come for women’s rugby which is grow­ing rapidly. She said the tour­na­ment would bring a huge buzz and ex­cite­ment to the city while, with days be­tween games there will be time for peo­ple to travel and ex­plore.

North­land women’s team play­ers im­me­di­ately thought of the next gen­er­a­tion of play­ers in the re­gion when they heard the news.

“You don’t re­ally hear of in­ter­na­tional fe­male teams play­ing here. It’s some­thing for our younger gen­er­a­tion to strive for,” Kat Wira-kohu said.

Coach for­mer World Cup­win­ning Black Fern Suzy Daw­son said the an­nounce­ment could spur play­ers on.

PHOTO / MICHAEL CUN­NING­HAM

North­land Women’s team play­ers Amanda Nepia, Chanel Murray, Bron­wyn “Hor­sie” Hames, coach Suzy Daw­son, North­land Rugby Union pres­i­dent Sharon Mor­gan and player Kat Wira-kohu.

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