Nigel Wood says International Rugby League (IRL) will debate the merits of staging future Women’s World Cups as stand-alone competitions.

In recent years, the Women’s competition has been staged at the same time as the Men’s, alongside other tournaments such as Wheelchair.

That will also be the case in 2021, but IRL CEO Wood told the Chasing Kangaroos podcast that the format is up for discussion.

He said: “One of the big decisions that we have to make is whether or not to retain the concept of the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair competitions taking place at the same time.

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“We’re looking at that from a commercial perspective to understand which is the right way forward.

“There are examples to point to in other sports, where events are initially run in a co-ordinated way but are then separated out.

“Soccer is the biggest example of that, where the women’s tournament is now as a stand-alone event.

“But there’s also a very strong argument about inclusivity and the ability of the sport to run Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair tournaments concurrently is part of our USP.

“In ’21 there are some terrific plans to play men’s and women’s matches on the same day at the same venue, which should be an excellent way to showcase the women’s game.

“So, the decision to be made is whether we consolidate them as a single offer or spread them out over different years.”

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