Women’s world cup big kick for economy
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.
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.