Women's game not given equal treatment as men's, says ex-Wales full back Hywel

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Wales v England - Women's Six Nations Championship - St Helens Rugby & Cricket Ground, Swansea, Wales - 8/2/15 - Dyddgu Hywel of Wales (L) is tackled by Abigail Brown of England/Action Images / Henry Browne/File Photo

(Reuters) - Former Wales full back Dyddgu Hywel said women's international rugby has not been treated equally as the men's game during the COVID-19 pandemic after the 2021 World Cup was postponed and the Six Nations delayed and cut short.

The World Cup, scheduled to be held in New Zealand from Sept. 18 to Oct. 16, was on Tuesday pushed back until 2022 after World Rugby said it was difficult to host the event as planned due to uncertainties surrounding the pandemic.

The women's Six Nations, originally planned to begin on Feb. 6 with the men's event, has been rescheduled to start on the weekend of April 3-4 and finish on April 24, using a condensed format.

Last year, Autumn Nations Cup replaced the men's November internationals while women's test rugby has been put on hold.

"What's really disappointing in my opinion is how do the men get an autumn series last year?" Hywel told the BBC https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/56262554. "They've got a normal Six Nations this year... but why is the women's game different or treated differently?

"We're still talking about equality in sports and it's 2021. We shouldn't be having this conversation any more and I truly understand the COVID situation.

"But that's the same for everyone. How can the men's game carry on and the women's had delays or cancellations or even a shortened Six Nations... It's just a little bit disappointing."

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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