Qualification pathway

The expanded 16-team tournament will be the biggest ever Women’s Rugby World Cup yet and is the result of years of positive progress in the women’s game. Underpinned by new competition and high-performance pathways, and a streamlined qualification process, it is set to supercharge the women’s game, creating a generational moment that will change the shape of the game forever.

RWC 2025 qualification

10 teams have qualified already for Women's Rugby World Cup 2025. As the host nation for RWC 2025, England have automatically qualified for the tournament, with Canada, France and New Zealand also securing direct qualification to the pinnacle event after finishing in the top four at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand (played in 2022).

Ireland qualified after placing third in the Guinness Women’s Six Nations 2024 with South Africa also claiming their spot after finishing top of the Rugby Africa Women's Cup. USA beat Australia in the Pacific Four Series to claim qualification in May and June 2024 saw two further teams qualify with Fiji topping the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship and Japan placing top of the Asia Rugby Women's Championship. Brazil were the most recent to claim their place for RWC 2025 after beating Colombia in the Sudamerica play-off.

The remaining six teams will need to qualify through the final qualifying competition, WXV 2024.

Qualification route explained

Regional competitions

Six teams will qualify via regional competitions in 2024, with winners or highest non-qualified teams in Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, South America and World Rugby’s cross-regional competition, the Pacific Four Series, securing direct qualification.

Women’s Six Nations 2024 (23 March-27 April) 

The tournament showcased some exhilarating rugby action as Wales, Italy, Scotland and Ireland all competed for a place at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, with all four in the top 10 of the World Rugby Women’s Ranking powered by Capgemini at the start of the tournament. With France and defending champions England already qualified for RWC 2025, the next best placed team, Ireland went on to secure the European spot at the showpiece event.

Pacific Four Series 2024 (28 April-26 May) 

Fans saw an intense competition and thrilling fixtures during the Pacific Four Series that saw two teams in contention for the coveted spot at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025. With Canada and New Zealand already qualified after reaching the RWC 2021 semi-finals, it was down to Australia and USA to battle it out. 

USA ended the series on a winning note after a stunning second-half performance in Melbourne against the Wallaroos boosted their qualification hopes for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025. Australia's final fixture saw them go up against the Black Ferns who were on top form with a 11 try spectacle that handed them the victory and awarded the Women's Rugby World Cup spot to USA.

Rugby Africa Women’s Cup 2024 (May) 

The Rugby Africa Women’s Cup showcased the talents of four teams in Africa, with Cameroon, Kenya, Madagascar and reigning champions South Africa going head-to-head in May. South Africa entered the competition buoyed by their recent third-place finish in WXV 2 last year,  while Kenya finished WXV 3 on a high by defeating Colombia in their final match of the competition.

In front of impressive crowds in Madagascar, South Africa were crowned Rugby Africa Women’s Cup champions, claiming the region’s direct spot at RWC 2025.  

Asia Rugby Women’s Championship 2024 (22 May-1 June) 

Three teams were vying for a place at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, with hosts Hong Kong China, Kazakhstan and defending champions Japan battling it out in May.

Japan became the eighth team to qualify for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 with a 64-0 victory against Kazakhstan at the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship 2024 in Hong Kong.

The Sakura 15s, who began their title defence by beating hosts Hong Kong China last Wednesday, ran in 10 tries during a dominant performance at King’s Park Sports Ground to claim a sixth Asian crown.

Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship 2024 (May-June) 

The Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship saw Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga all eyeing up the chance to secure direct qualification. 

Fiji became the ninth team to qualify for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 after winning the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship 2024 with a 27-13 victory over reigning champions Samoa in the final match of the tournament in Brisbane on Sunday.

In winning their fourth title, Fiji avenged last year’s heart-breaking 19-18 defeat at the same stage of the competition and booked their place at a second Rugby World Cup, having made their debut in New Zealand in 2022.

Sudamérica Rugby

Brazil beat Colombia for the first time in seven attempts to stun their hosts and ensure they will make their Women's Rugby World Cup debut at England 2025.

Yaras had lost each of their six previous meetings with Las Tucanes prior and sat 25 places beneath their opponents in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings at kick-off, however, they dominated the South American play-off from start to finish and capitalised on some Colombian ill-discipline to book their ticket to England with a 34-13 victory in Luque.

WXV

The final opportunity to qualify for RWC 2025 will come via WXV, the three-level annual women’s 15s competition, with the top six ranked non-qualified teams at the end of WXV 2024 qualifying for the tournament.

The draw for RWC 2025 will take place once WXV has completed in October to ensure all qualified teams are known.

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