Why World Rugby has dropped the 'women's World Cup'

Winger Sevu Reece celebrates his second half try

World Cups rebranded in effort to achieve gender neutrality in rugby

"World Rugby has announced that its flagship 15s and sevens Rugby World Cup properties will no longer include gender in their titles, furthering its commitment to equality and brand consistency across its portfolio", read their statement.

The decision to drop genders from competition titles is a first for a major sporting federation and World Rugby believes it will "elevate the profile of the women's game, while eliminating any inherent or perceived bias towards men's only competitions and tournaments".

A win by any margin for Ireland over England in their Rugby World Cup warm-up clash at Twickenham on Sunday would see them move from third to first. The objective is to elevate the profile of the women's game, while eliminating any inherent or perceived bias towards men's only competitions and tournaments, which traditionally haven't specified gender.

The next men's edition is played in Japan in a month's time while New Zealand will host the women's tournament in 2021. The move to adopt a new approach to naming tournaments was based on a proposal by the Rugby World Cup Limited board, underpinned by World Rugby's global action plan entitled "Accelerating the Global Development of Women in Rugby 2017-2025".

"The goal is to elevate the profile of the women's game, while eliminating any inherent or perceived bias towards men's only competitions and tournaments, which traditionally haven't specified gender".

Now, English rugby's headquarters looks to be the venue where the 23-year-old will get his World Cup preparations under way as he is expected to be named in the starting line-up.

He said: "Unintentional gender bias in sport is an ongoing issue".

New Zealand are defending champions in both the men's and women's tournaments.

"I would prefer to be there (number one) at the start of November (when the World Cup ends), but it is now just a table and something to talk about", he said.

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