New Zealand Rugby and World Rugby officially announced today their target to set a Rugby World Cup and world record for attendance at a standalone women’s rugby match day when RWC 2021 kicks off at Eden Park on 8 October, 2022.
The highest recorded attendance for a women's Rugby World Cup match day currently stands at 20,000 at the Stade Jean-Bouin, France, when Canada faced England in the RWC 2014 final, followed by RWC 2017 when 17,155 fans turned out to watch the Black Ferns play the Red Roses in a thrilling final at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.
By securing a place at the opening match day fans have the opportunity to be part of an historic occasion for women’s rugby.
The unforgettable opening day offers a tantalising triple-header with the iconic Eden Park playing host to some of the top teams in the world. South Africa take on France, followed by England versus Rugby World Cup debutants Fiji, and reigning champions New Zealand taking on trans-Tasman rivals Australia as women's rugby lights up the biggest stage.
On 1 November at 09:00 NZST (GMT +13) fans will have the opportunity secure their place at this unique moment in time. The RWC 2021 Opening Match Day Pass offers exceptional value with prices starting at NZ$10 per adult and NZ$5 per child.
The opening match day in Auckland will be followed by the first fixtures in Whangārei on Sunday, 9 October, when USA face Italy, Canada meet recently-qualified Japan, and Wales take on the Final Qualifier Winner.
With the first tickets for RWC 2021 selling out in just minutes and a goal to fill Eden Park on the opening day of Rugby World Cup 2021, tournament organisers are calling on fans to secure their tickets early and play their part in making Rugby World Cup history on 8 October, 2022.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: "RWC 2021 has all the ingredients to be a truly great sporting event. Women's rugby will rightly take centre stage next year, and RWC 2021 in New Zealand is poised to super-charge the women’s game globally.
"This is a Rugby World Cup that continues to set new standards on and off the field and I am sure that fans will seize the opportunity to say they were there when what we hope will be a new record attendance for a standalone women’s match day at Eden Park."
Michelle Hooper, Tournament Director, added: "We're targeting a world record for attendance at the opening match day at Eden Park on 8 October, 2022. Following the speed at which fans snapped up the first release of tournament tickets, we are confident of smashing records for attendance at women’s rugby. We welcome fans from Aotearoa and around the world to join us and be part of history!"
All Blacks scrum-half Aaron Smith said: "I'm so excited to hear about the world record attempt for the opening match day at Eden Park! Can’t wait to see it happen. It’ll be awesome to see the stadium packed with fans – there is nothing like the atmosphere of a full house for the players on the field and for everyone in the stands."
Melodie Robinson, a former Black Fern and Rugby World Cup Ltd Board member, said: "What a fantastic opportunity to stand up and show the world our passion for women’s rugby here in Aotearoa. Achieving a Rugby World Cup record attendance will show the value we place on our wāhine [women] and will leave a lasting legacy for the game in all corners of the globe. I know we can do it!"
Tickets will be available via the official Rugby World Cup 2021 ticketing platform, provided by Ticketek.