While the Lionesses suffered a devastating loss at the last hurdle after failing to beat Spain, it looks like they have a bright future ahead of them, as it has done wonders for interest in women’s sport.
The Women’s World Cup final between England and Spain was watched by a peak audience of 12 million viewers on BBC One, while it was viewed 3.9 million times on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app.
In fact, the final was the second-most-watched TV event on the BBC of 2023, after the Coronation of King Charles III in May.
But from one world cup to another, there isn’t long to go until the Women’s Rugby World Cup takes over our TV screens. The last Women’s Rugby World Cup was its ninth edition.
Postponed by one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it took place from October to November 2022. It was the first Women’s Rugby World Cup to be hosted by New Zealand, and by a country in the Southern Hemisphere. It also saw New Zealand hold onto their title as defending champions.
When is the next Women’s Rugby World Cup?
The next edition of the Women’s Rugby World Cup takes place in 2025. England will be the hosts, and the host cities, venues, and tournament dates have been confirmed for one of the biggest celebrations of women’s rugby.
The fun starts on August 22 and concludes with the final, on September 22, in the 10th edition of the event.
Here are the host cities and venues:
Brighton and Hove — Brighton and Hove Albion Stadium
Bristol — Ashton Gate
Exeter — Sandy Park
Manchester – Salford Community Stadium
Northampton — Franklin’s Gardens
Sunderland — Stadium of Light
York — York Community Stadium
London — Twickenham Stadium (Final)
The full match schedule has not yet been announced, but more details will be available next year.
So far, Canada, England, France, and New Zealand have qualified after finishing in the top four. The remaining positions will be filled via World Rugby’s new women’s international-15s’ tournament, WXV, and regional competitions in 2024.
World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Following the record-breaking success of Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand, women’s rugby has built an incredibly strong foundation and, as one of the fastest growing sports in the world, RWC 2025 is set to take the game to the next level as the biggest celebration of women’s rugby, with fans and players very much at its heart.
“We look forward to continuing to collaborate with all our partners as we strive to deliver a world-class and historic event that will leave a lasting legacy, both in England and around the world, as we aim to inspire millions of new players and fans and continue to grow the game we love.”
Independent chairwoman of the Rugby World Cup 2025 Board of Directors Gill Whitehead 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 in joining us on our mission to deliver the biggest and best Women’s Rugby World Cup yet.”