Maitland Sportsground could play to host to some of the world’s best female rugby players after Rugby Australia announced the Hunter as the location for its 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup bid.
Under the plan, the Newcastle and Hunter region will host the world’s showpiece event in Women’s Rugby, with the region’s world class sporting facilities and hotels, combined with its offering as one of Australia’s most popular tourism hubs.
11 countries from around the world will join the Buildcorp Wallaroos for the tournament which will provide up to a $23 million boost to the NSW economy.
The tournament location will offer competing teams and their fans with the best of Australia; a lively cosmopolitan major events city, paired with one of Australia’s premier food and wine locations.
Matches will be played at Maitland #1 Sportsground and Newcastle Sportsground No 2 with the final to be held at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Teams, officials and tournament staff will be accommodated in true “Athletes Village” style in the heart of the Hunter as the best Rugby players battle it out to become World Champions.
Rugby Australia has also created an Impact Beyond program, as part of its bid to ensure a lasting legacy for the WRWC on young girls and boys across Australia. Further details about the program will be released in the coming weeks.
Following the announcement of its 10 world cups in 10 years strategy, the NSW Government today confirmed it would provide financial and operational support to Rugby Australia for tournament delivery, should the bid be successful. This announcement follows confirmation of the Australian Government’s financial support for development of the bid.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle said: “The Women’s Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle event in Women’s XVs Rugby and we will show the world once again that Australia is unrivalled when it comes to delivering major sporting events.
“We have more women and girls playing Rugby than ever before and we continue to see double-digit growth in participation in both our Sevens and XVs formats of the game. Hosting the tournament would provide us with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to showcase the best of the women’s game to the Australian public.
“I’d like to acknowledge and thank the NSW Government for their unwavering support of the bid and in backing our quest to bring the World Cup to Australian shores for the first time.
I would also like to thank the Newcastle and Maitland Councils, along with the local community, for their enthusiastic support and contribution to our bid.
“Our bid demonstrates that Australia has the ability to tap into a rich history of major event expertise, a strong women’s sports movement, corporate support, volunteers and engaged sports fans in Australia that will deliver a record breaking tournament.
“Australia is #READY to host the Women’s Rugby World Cup and the Newcastle and Hunter region is the perfect location to deliver a record-breaking tournament in a truly Australian style – fun, vibrant, exciting, inclusive and innovative.”
The Honourable Stuart Ayers MP, Minister for Sport, said: “We are committed to attracting world class sporting events not only for Sydney but regional New South Wales. Securing the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup puts women’s sport front and centre in achieving our 10 World Cups in 10 years strategy,” Mr Ayres said.
“This bid aligns with our commitment to foster the growth of women’s sport and follows on from the success of the Women’s Rugby League World Cup 2017 and the 2017 Women’s Ashes Series in NSW.”
The Honourable Adam Marshall MP, Minister for Tourism and Major Events Minister said: “Hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup for the first time in the southern hemisphere will inject close to $23 million into the NSW economy.”
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald MLC said: “The Hunter has a long history of supporting rugby and women’s sport, so the bid for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup is the perfect amalgamation of the two.”
Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Nuatali Nelmes said: “Novocastrians love their Rugby with huge crowds turning out to support the Wallabies’ during their weeklong training camp in Newcastle last year.
"Hosting the 2021 Women’s' Rugby World Cup would be one of the biggest ever sporting events for our city, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from both interstate as well as around the world.
“The City of Newcastle was proud to host the Matildas for a friendly against Brazil in 2017 and our community responded by setting an Australian record for an international women's soccer game.
“I’m confident that Newcastle would smash records as the host of the 2021 Women’s’ Rugby World Cup too.”
Maitland Mayor, Cr Loretta Baker said: “I’m incredibly proud that our city is part of the Rugby Australia bid for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup. This is a huge opportunity for our city to co-host such an inspiring world class sporting event. I think Australia is #Ready and I know Maitland is #Ready.
“Our city has a strong sporting pedigree as well as an enviable reputation in delivering high class events. Given the opportunity, Maitland will shine, providing the elite athletes and visitors a world class welcome and a lifetime of memories".
Rugby Australia also today launched its official bid video content, displaying Australia’s passion for the game and readiness to host the tournament.
Fans can show their support for the bid online by using #READY #BackTheBid #Australia2021 or visitingaustralia2021.com.au.
World Rugby is expected to announce the winner of the right to host the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup in November.