This year's women's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand has been officially postponed to 2022, World Rugby has confirmed.
World Rugby says its executive executive committee has now ratified the recommendation to postpone the event because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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It also announced a £2 million ($A3.6 million) funding package to assist unions hit by the postponement with a focus on providing teams with international competition so they are at their best in 2022.
"Our hearts go out to all the players, team personnel and fans who were preparing and looking forward to the World Cup this year," World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said.
"The decision to postpone has been made entirely in the interests of their welfare, well-being and preparation, and the desire to put on a showcase tournament that will super-charge women's rugby globally."
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He said by postponing the event by a year, it will ensure for a better event that benefits from the global vaccination drive and eased travel burdens.
"I would also like to emphasise that we are unwavering in our commitment to the women's game," he said.
"The top players in the women's game should be guaranteed the stage that they deserve."
This article was originally published on RUGBY.com.au.