Match schedule confirmed for WXV 2023
World Rugby have today confirmed the match schedule and opponents for Scotland’s first ever WXV campaign, with the side facing Japan, South Africa and USA.
The first fixtures of WXV 2023 takes place in WXV 2 on Friday, 13 October at Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch with an exciting double-header that sees Italy take on Japan first before Scotland face hosts South Africa. USA will then tackle Samoa in the standalone match on Saturday, 14 October.
The tournament then heads to Cape Town with the Athlone Stadium hosting the second and third rounds of WXV 2. The competition ends on 27-28 October with three action-packed fixtures across the two days with Scotland up against Japan and South Africa versus Samoa on the Friday and USA facing Italy bringing WXV 2 to a close on the Saturday.
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.
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.
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.
Reacting to today’s announcement, 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.”
World Rugby Chief of Women’s Rugby, Sally Horrox said: “WXV represents the start of a new era for women’s rugby with the three-level tournament model providing opportunities for the best athletes around the world to show their skills on the international stage. We’ve seen the rapid development of the women’s game in recent years and WXV will push it to another level again.
“We’re really proud of the exciting array of fixtures on offer and I’ve no doubt we are in for a thrilling competition with some exhilarating matchups on the pitch set to follow.
“A big thank you to all our hosts. We can’t wait to visit your countries and see the world’s best players compete in these fantastic venues and a huge congratulations to all the teams that have qualified. The stage is now set and we look forward to many memorable moments ahead across October and November.”
WXV is being supported by partners Mastercard, Capgemini and Gallagher, with World Rugby also injecting multi-million-pound investment funding over an initial two-year period in the sprint to an expanded 16-team Rugby World Cup 2025 in England.
Broadcast and ticketing information for WXV 2 and WXV 3 will follow. Fans can follow all the action by following @WXVRugby on social platforms and can also register for all the latest updates here.
In preparation for the tournament, Scotland host Spain at Hive Stadium in Edinburgh on Saturday 30 September (kick-off TBC). Match tickets will go on public sale this Thursday (17 August) at 10am on scottishrugbytickets.com. To secure the best seats for all three of Scotland’s home games this season, secure your season pass now HERE.
Scotland’s fixtures in WXV 2
Friday 13 October: Scotland v South Africa; Danie Craven Stadium, Burgersdorp (kick-off 3.30pm UK time)
Friday 20 October: USA v Scotland; Athlone Sports Stadium, Cape Town (kick-off 1pm)
Friday 27 October: Scotland v Japan; Athlone Sports Stadium, Cape Town (kick-off 1pm)