Women's 2021 Rugby World Cup: England among top seeds

New Zealand celebrate lifting the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup trophy
New Zealand beat England 41-32 in the final to win the 2017 Rugby World Cup

England, Canada and hosts New Zealand have been confirmed as top seeds for the women's 2021 Rugby World Cup.

Governing body World Rugby based the seedings on rankings from 1 January because coronavirus restrictions have prevented southern hemisphere teams from playing this year.

Wales have been seeded third alongside South Africa and the top-ranked European qualifier.

The draw for the 12-team tournament takes place in Auckland on 20 November.

Seven of the 12 teams qualified automatically after a top-seven finish at the last tournament in Ireland in 2017, with qualifying tournaments deciding the other five.

France, Australia and USA are second seeds with Oceania winners Fiji, a team from Asia and the team that wins the final qualifying tournament seeded fourth.

The tournament is scheduled to take place in New Zealand from 18 September to 16 October next year, the first time the tournament has been held in the southern hemisphere.

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