Ineos, the multi-national industrial and chemicals giant, has struck a deal to become an official sponsor of the delayed  Rugby World Cup 2021, rugby union’s flagship women’s national teams' tournament.

The 12-team event will be held in New Zealand from October 8 to November 12, the first time the competition has been staged in the Southern Hemisphere. It was originally scheduled to take place last year but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Michelle Hooper, Rugby World Cup 2021 tournament director, said: “We know Ineos are passionate supporters of sport and have already built a great relationship with our teams in black.

“We’re delighted to have Ineos join the Rugby World Cup 2021 family and know their focus on supporting the best high-performance sports globally, will go a long way to helping us supercharge the women’s game.”

The brand, through this tie-up with the World Rugby governing body, joins fellow official sponsors Land Rover, Mastercard, Canon, DHL, and Capgemini. It also includes Taiho, ALtrad, MediaWorks, Chemist Warehouse (the last brand to come on board, through a deal announced at the end of July), and Sky City.

Official suppliers for the tournament, meanwhile, include Tudor, Gilbert, Macron, and Prevent Biometrics.

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Tom Crotty, director of communications & corporate affairs at Ineos, said: “Ineos is proud to support the Rugby World Cup as it brings together the best athletes on the world stage.

“New Zealand’s rugby culture is unique, and this tournament will showcase excellence in women’s rugby in front of some of the most passionate fans in the world, and at the same time no doubt help inspire many people across the world to take up the sport.”

The deal adds to Ineos’ sports sponsorship portfolio, which includes New Zealand Rugby, motor racing’s Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team, Ineos Britannia sailing team; the Eliud Kipchoge running team, and soccer clubs OGC Nice in France, and FC Lausanne-Sport in Switzerland.

This year’s Rugby World Cup will take place between October 8 and November 12, with games to be held in Auckland (two venues) and Whangarei.