New Zealand won a vote of the World Rugby Council members (25-17) after a Rugby Australia bid team presented the bid before the Council meeting in Dublin overnight.

They become the first southern hemisphere nation to host the tournament, with Dublin and Belfast being the prior hosts.

Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle was disappointed at the result.

"We put our best foot forward and the support we've had from New South Wales and the Federal Government was really outstanding," she said.

"We know we put a compelling case together and the presentation went well, unfortunately, we didn't get the votes on the day," Castle said.

While England and France expressed their interest in hosting the World Cup, it was only Australia and New Zealand who put their bids in. 

New Zealand have won five of the last six World Cups, beating England 41-32 in the 2017 final and have previously hosted the men's edition of the tournament in 2011. 

The Australian bid team were told their bid was outstanding but Castle believes that the Kiwi's success on the international stage influenced the result. 

"The feedback was that our presentation and pitch was outstanding and it was a neck and neck race," she said.

"I think there is no doubt that the Black Ferns success influenced the outcome at the end of the day," Castle said.

Twelve teams will play in the tournament, to be staged in Auckland and Northland and it will see a number of new changes as well.

This includes the extension of the tournament window from 23 to 25 days, the introduction of a quarterfinal stage and increasing squads from 28 to 30.