A record number of people will watch the Women's Rugby World Cup this month. Here's what you need to know.

Right now, all eyes are on women’s rugby. 

Over the next four weeks, 12 teams of the best female players in the world will continue to battle it out in New Zealand to take home the Women's Rugby World Cup trophy (... plus, three years of bragging rights). 

The competition kicked off last weekend, with the Wallaroos already taking to the field in front of a record crowd against Auckland.

If you missed the match or want to get into the competition but don’t know where to start, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about the Women's Rugby World Cup (RWC) in one place.

From what players you should watch to how you can stream it, here’s your ultimate guide to enjoying the games.

How does the competition actually... work?

The RWC is held once every four years (and in this case, five, thanks to COVID-19), so if this is your first time watching the games or if you need a little refresher, here’s a quick breakdown of how it all works. 

The first stage of the competition sees 12 teams from all over the world compete in three pools - which are essentially little groups. In each group, four teams battle it out against each other, playing each team once. 

Australia is in pool A, along with Wales, Scotland and New Zealand. Unfortunately, we lost our first match against New Zealand last weekend, but we still have a chance to take down Scotland on Saturday 15 October and Wales on Saturday 22 October. 

And women’s rugby sevens player Dominique du Toit says we’re in for a good shot. 

“We had a great start in our opening game against the black ferns who are our toughest opponent in our pool,” she told Mamamia


“If the wallaroos continue their form from that first half of the game against New Zealand, I have no doubt they will come out on top of their next two pool games against Scotland and Wales and earn a spot in the quarter finals and on to semis.” 

Once all the teams have battled it out in the pool stage, the three winners from each pool and the best runner-up usually progress to the semi-finals. However, this year, the RWC is getting a shake-up and the top two teams in each pool plus the two best third-placed teams will progress to the knockout phase.

The knockout phase is made up of the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals, which all take place from Saturday 29 October to Saturday 12 November.


The quarter-finals, which will be held over an action-packed weekend on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October, will see the remaining eight teams matched up against a single opponent, with the loser being removed from the competition.


The four teams that emerge victorious from the quarter-finals will move on to the semi-finals, which kick off on Saturday 5 November.  

The finals

The two winners of the semi-finals will get to move forward to the grand final, while the other two teams who aren’t... as fortunate compete again in a bronze final on Saturday, November 12 at 2:30pm Sydney time.

Then, later that afternoon comes the ultimate decider. Starting at 5:30pm Sydney time, the two teams who won the sem-finals will compete for a gold medal… and of course, the all-important World Cup trophy. The loser of this match gets a silver medal for their troubles.


In 2017, New Zealand took home the cup when they claimed victory over England 41–32. Both these teams are competition favourites and have high expectations to win this year.

Image: Rugby World Cup.

How can you watch it? 

The only place to watch every match is on Stan Sport, the home of rugby.

All the games (yep, every. single. one) are being streamed live and on-demand, so if you miss a game you can easily catch up. 


Why should you watch it?

If you’re not usually into rugby, now’s the time to get behind it. And here's why. 

Firstly, women’s rugby is currently one of the fastest-growing team sports in the world. (Feel free to whip that fact out at the dinner table). 

More than 2.7 million women and girls play the sport in stadiums and school ovals all over the world - that’s more than a quarter of the global playing population.

By watching the RWC, you’re getting behind women and girls around the world who are carving out their space within the heavily male-dominated sports industry.

As Du Toit told Mamamia, “the World Cup is a platform for [women] to showcase their abilities and show the world the way they play the game”. 

Secondly, the first weekend of the games attracted a world-record crowd at Auckland's Eden Park, which saw over 35,00 tickets pre-sold and surpassed RWC 2014 finals day record of 20,000 tickets. By tuning into the RWC on Stan, you get to watch history in the making... but from the comfort of your own lounge room. 

And just in case you need any more reason to watch it, Australia’s women's rugby players recently killed it on the world stage. 

Earlier this year, the Australian women's sevens team made history when they claimed our country's first ever rugby sevens Commonwealth Games gold medal in Birmingham. 

Six years earlier, they made history when they won the first gold medal offered in the sport at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. 


Which players should you watch out for?

While we’ll obviously be cheering on all the Wallaroos, here are some key players to keep an eye on while you’re watching on from home. 

Shannon Parry, Back row.  

As the captain of the Wallaroos, Shannon is definitely one to watch. 

The 32-year-old has represented Australia twice in the Olympics - including our aforementioned victory in Rio, when she co-captained our sevens team.

Sharni Williams, Centre.

Sharni Williams is one of Australia’s best rugby players. 


Not only did she help win gold at the Commonwealth Games this year, but she was also part of our winning team in Rio. 

The 34-year-old also represented Australia in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in women’s rugby sevens. 

Bienne Terita, Wing.

New Wallaroos star Bienne Terita is another person to keep an eye on. 

At 19 years old, she’s the youngest player on our team this year, and managed to score two tries during the opening game against New Zealand last weekend.

But don’t just take my word for it. Du Toit also says Terita is one to watch as a “crowd favourite on and off the field”.


“She plays an exciting and explosive form of rugby and when the ball is in her hands you can be sure that she is going to knock over a few defenders,” Du Toit told Mamamia

“She’s a relaxed player that loves to have fun and a laugh off the pitch but on the field, even at training, she is ruthless and aggressive.”

Feature Image: Supplied/Stan.