New opportunities ahead for Scotland Women: WXV explained
What is WXV?
Scotland Women are about to embark on an exciting journey this season, filled with new opportunities and a new competition as World Rugby launch the new three-tier annual global women’s international 15s tournament, WXV.
WXV aims to transform the international landscape, with the tournament providing a cohesive pathway for all unions and a competitive qualification route towards an expanded 16-team Rugby World Cup in 2025.
Scotland secured their spot in the second tier of the competition, WXV 2, after finishing fourth in the recent TikTok Women’s Six Nations championship, following back-to-back wins against Italy and Ireland.
How does it work?
World Rugby have published an explainer video which gives and overview of the new competition and explains the promotion and relegation within WXV 2 and WXV 3.
Where will host WXV 2?
Cape Town in South Africa will play host to the six-team second level WXV 2 with matches being played across the weekends of 14, 21 and 28 October. Both competitions will be played in a cross-pool format.
Scotland will play their first match against South Africa at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch, with the opening weekend marking the first time that women’s tests will be played at the stadium.
The remaining two matches against USA and Japan will be played at Athlone Sports Stadium, which hosted the semi-finals and final of this year’s U20 World Championship.
Who are Scotland’s opponents?
Scotland have been drawn in Pool A and will face South Africa, Japan and USA over the three weekends.
Hosts, South Africa, cruised their way to the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup Division 1 2023 title and WXV 2 qualification in May, after defeating Madagascar 79-8 in the last round of the competition.
Japan will head into the competition feeling buoyed by recent victories in their tour to Spain, with the side completing the summer with a 2-0 series win. Scotland last faced Japan in November 2021, with the hosts running in six tries to record an emphatic 36-12 victory at Hive Stadium in Edinburgh.
USA will be looking to make amends following a disappointing run of results in the Pacific Four competition, seeing the side finish fourth following defeats against Australia, Black Ferns and Canada.
Scotland Women Head Coach, Bryan Easson, said: “It’s really exciting to play against teams that you traditionally don’t play against too often. We’ve got three fantastic teams as our opponents and it’s a great opportunity to test ourselves against different playing styles that are outside of our usual Six Nations counterparts.
“We played Japan two years ago at Hive Stadium in what was a really tough but exciting fixture. The red card that Japan received during that game really changed the momentum and we were able to make the most of that numerical advantage and ultimately secure a 36-12 win.
“We played two tests in Cape Town back in 2019 against South Africa and they have made huge inroads since then, with the union really taking on the women’s team and making some positive progress in their performances. They’ve got some real talent within that squad, with a number of players featuring in the Premiership in England, so it should be a really exciting fixture against the hosts.
“USA have been a top-five side in the world for a long time now and were unfortunate in their recent Pacific Four campaign. We played them in August last year ahead of the Rugby World Cup and that was a game that got away from us and that we were disappointed in the result so we will be raring for the challenge to really test ourselves against the side once again.”
What are the fixtures?
Do Scotland have any warm-up matches?
Scotland will host Spain on Saturday 30 September at Hive Stadium in Edinburgh as part of their preparations for WXV (kick-off 5.45pm).
Spain will feature in WXV 3 in Dubai later this year, with the side missing out on a place in WXV 2 after a 23-0 defeat to Italy in the tournament qualifier.
Scotland’s previous clash with Spain was during the 2021 Rugby World Cup Europe Qualifiers tournament in Parma, with the Scots holding off a late comeback from Spain to record a 27-22 victory.