With just over 18 months to go, nine teams have qualified for the tournament so far. New Zealand qualified automatically by winning the 2017 tournament before being announced as hosts. A further six teams, England, France, United States, Canada, Australia and Wales qualified automatically as top seven finishers.
South Africa were the first regional qualifiers for Rugby World Cup 2021 after beating Kenya to win the Rugby Africa Women's Cup which doubled as the qualification pathway. Followed by Fiji qualifying for their first Rugby World Cup after beating Samoa in the final round of the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship 2019 in Lautoka, Fiji.