The Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand due to be played later this year is set to be delayed by 12 months.
The tournament was scheduled to be held between September and October but World Rugby has recommended it be postponed because of uncertainty around Covid-19.
In a statement World Rugby said "it's has made the difficult decision to recommend the postponement of Rugby World Cup 2021, scheduled to be hosted in New Zealand between 18 September-16 October, until next year.
"It has become clear in recent discussions with key partners including New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Government and participating unions, that, given the scale of the event and the Covid-19-related uncertainties, it is just not possible to deliver the environment for all teams to be the best that they can be on the sport’s greatest stage."
Minister for Sport Grant Robertson says the Government remains committed to hosting the tournament in 2022.
“We all wanted the tournament to go ahead as planned this year, but we also accept that the current Covid-19 constrained circumstances are not ideal for high performance athletes in a tournament situation."
Further updates will be issued following the Rugby World Cup board and world rugby executive committee meetings next week.