Global governing body World Rugby and English rugby union’s RFU have announced the host cities and venues that will stage games during the 2025 Women’s World Cup.
The next edition of the women’s flagship tournament is set to take place between August 22 and September 27 of that year featuring an expanded pool of 16 teams that will compete for the international crown.
Schedule and ticketing information is set to be released in 2024.
The country’s flagship 82,000-seat Twickenham stadium has been chosen as one of the eight host venues, possibly for the final. Earlier this year, a 58,498-strong crowd saw England beat France 38-33 at Twickenham to win the Women's Six Nations title in April.
A mix of rugby and soccer stadiums make up the final seven, with traditional rugby venues Sandy Park in Exeter, Salford Community Stadium in Manchester, and Franklin Gardens in Northampton earmarked to host games.
Brighton’s Amex Stadium, Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, the York Community Stadium, and Bristol’s Ashton Gate are among the soccer stadiums listed.
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The previous Women’s World Cup in New Zealand last year saw record attendances, with 150,000 fans watching games during the tournament.
New Zealand eventually beat England to win the title for the sixth time, with 1.8 million viewers on average in the two countries tuning in to watch the final.
Gill Whitehead, independent chair of the Rugby World Cup 2025 board of directors, said: “Rugby World Cup 2025 represents the beginning of an exciting new future for Rugby World Cups as the first event to be held under a new delivery model with World Rugby and the RFU in partnership, working alongside the UK Government and we look forward to working together closely over the next two years.
“The host cities and venues have been selected with accessibility in mind. No matter where you live in England, you should be within reach of a match. All the cities selected have demonstrated they share the same passion for the tournament and are committed to joining us on our mission to deliver the biggest and best women’s Rugby World Cup yet.”
New Zealand, England, France, and Canada have already qualified for the 2025 edition, while the remaining teams will be chosen via their positioning in World Rugby’s new annual WXV tournament and regional competitions.
England was announced as the host for the 2025 edition last year as part of a new hosting model that sees World Rugby form a partnership with national unions and governments to establish a local delivery structure in chosen destinations. Australia and the US were also awarded hosting rights to the men's and women's events.
The aim is to optimize opportunities for the growth of the code and provide more certainty and support for tournament hosts and prospective hosts.
The new model is intended to further build on the improved future host selection process that was introduced in 2020.
The men’s 2023 Rugby World Cup, featuring 20 teams, is being held in France from September 8 to October 28.