Dublin and Belfast will host Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 after World Rugby awarded the hosting rights for the prestigious tournament to the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU).
With women’s rugby continuing to experience record global growth, the pool stages will be held at University College Dublin, before the world’s top female rugby players convene in Belfast for the semi-finals and positional play-offs, including the final at the magnificent Kingspan Stadium.
World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Women’s Rugby World Cup continues to go from strength to strength, proving a hit with fans, broadcasters and sponsors around the globe, with its compelling, competitive action and global profile.
“With impressive results on and off the field, the IRFU is a leader in driving forward the promotion and development of women’s rugby and the union’s passion, dedication and expertise in women’s rugby was reflected in an impressive and forward think.
“The awarding of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 to Ireland is great news for teams and fans as the sport continues to reach out and inspire new participants in our great game. I am sure that Dublin and Belfast will prove to be popular destinations.”
A major international rugby success story, Women’s Rugby World Cup attracted capacity crowds and record broadcast audiences in the last two tournaments in France in 2014 and England in 2010.
There are now more than 1.7 million women and girls playing the sport (an increase of 20 per cent on 2014), while women’s rugby also continues to experience record growth in popularity, attendance and media exposure driven by the success of Women’s Rugby World Cup and Olympic Games inclusion.
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