The 16 teams are divided into four pools. The defending champions, New Zealand, are top seeds. The USA are seeded second, England third and Canada fourth. In recent matches England beat New Zealand 22-17 in New Zealand, the Black Ferns' first defeat since the 1991 World Cup when the USA beat them 7-0.
There are actually four competitions. The pools first play off to determine the positions in each pool.
The four pool winners then play for the Winners Competition to determine the winners of the Women's Rugby World Cup 2002.
The teams second in each pool then play in the Runners-Up Competition, those third in the Third Place Competition and those fourth in the Fourth Place Competition.
The teams and pools are:POOL A: New Zealand, Australia, Wales, Germany.POOL B: USA, France, Kazakhstan , Netherlands.
Round One Fixtures,Monday, 13 May. New Zealand vs Germany: Australia vs Wales: USA vs Netherlands: France vs Kazakhstan: England vs Italy: Spain vs Japan: Canada vs Ireland: Scotland vs Samoa.