England and France drawn together at 2021 Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup 2021: England to face France, South Africa and Fiji in pool C

Hosts and defending champions New Zealand are set to play Australia in the 2021 Rugby World Cup group stage following the completion of the draw for the women's tournament.

Beaumont, who is unable to attend the draw because of ongoing travel restrictions as a outcome of the pandemic, believes that New Zealand 2021, backed by the country's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, will raise the bar on and off the field.

New Zealand will meet Australia, Wales and the final qualification tournament victor in Pool A.

Third seeds Canada are in pool B alongside US and the winners of the Asia and Europe qualifiers.

England will face a tough challenge in Pool C, which includes France, South Africa and Fiji.

The tournament will take place in New Zealand for the first time, with games in Auckland and Whangarei between September 18 and October 16 next year.

"We need to demonstrate that people want to come out and support our Black Ferns because they are exceptional athletes, not women athletes, athletes".

2021 Rugby World Cup draw

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont, who could not be in attendance owing to the ongoing global pandemic, voiced confidence in New Zealand Rugby to deliver a game-changing event to supercharge women's rugby globally.

Last month, the England Netball team quarantined for two weeks in New Zealand - which has recorded just 25 deaths from Covid and where the virus case numbers remain extremely low - before playing the Silver Ferns in a three-Test series.

"It will be a celebration of the host nation, of world-class rugby and women in rugby and it will play a huge role in inspiring more women, girls and boys to get into rugby".

"We went to New Zealand before the 2017 World Cup and although it was a great occasion and we had a fantastic win, how much did it help us?"

Officials say it is the biggest deal in Rugby League World Cup history and the largest rugby league commercial agreement outside Australia.

"Today marks an important step towards that ambition".

The Rugby World Cup 2021 match schedule will be announced later in the year.

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