- France hosted 2014 event, where England beat Canada in final
- World Cup moved up a year as rugby joins Olympic Games in Rio
Ireland will host the women’s rugby World Cup in 2017, as the sport’s ruling body brings the tournament ahead a year to balance the demand on players because rugby is joining the summer Olympics.
Dublin and Belfast will host games in the event, which was won by England last year in France. About 1.7 million women and girls play, an increase of 20 percent on 2014, governing body World Rugby said today in an e-mailed statement.
Ireland’s women won Europe’s Six Nations tournament for the first time in 2013, and again this year. The Irish defeated four-time defending champions New Zealand in the pool stages and finished fourth in last year’s World Cup.
“Interest and participation in women’s rugby continues to grow and building on this momentum we believe Ireland can deliver the best Women’s Rugby World Cup to date,” Philip Browne, Irish Rugby Football Union chief executive officer, said in the statement.
The tournament will return to a four-year cycle after the 2017 World Cup. The sport is being added to next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.