Twickenham will host the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup final, with Sunderland’s Stadium of Light chosen as the venue for the opening fixture.
World Rugby and the Rugby Football Union made the announcement on Monday, after it had been confirmed in August which eight stadiums would be used for the tournament. The Red Roses will begin the World Cup at the 48,707-seat Stadium of Light on 22 August, and the 16-team competition will conclude at Twickenham on 27 September.
Twickenham hosting the final opens up the opportunity for a world‑record crowd for a women’s international after 58,498 spectators attended England’s victory against France this year.
“Women’s Rugby World Cup England 2025 will be a generational moment for rugby,” World Rugby’s chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, said. “The biggest, most accessible and most widely viewed, its unstoppable momentum will reach, engage and inspire new audiences in ways that rugby events have not done before.
“The selection of Sunderland for the opening match underscores that mission. We want this to be a sports event that everyone is talking about, that everyone wants to be a part of and one that inspires young people to be a part of.”
The government has thrown its support behind the 10th edition of the tournament, which will this time be countrywide after the 2010 World Cup in England was played largely at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford.
[Former England player Sarah Hunter speaks at the Stadium of Light, which will host England’s opening fixture.]
Former England player Sarah Hunter speaks at the Stadium of Light, which will host England’s opening fixture. Photograph: Stu Forster/World Rugby/Getty Images
“I think the country has got such a good reputation now for putting on these major events and we’ve had huge successes with them,” the sports minister, Stuart Andrew, said. “What I love about these events is we are spreading it all around the country so every part of it can get a share and as a northern MP, I am absolutely delighted they have chosen the north-east to have the opening match.”
Sarah Massey, managing director of 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup, said: “For us, this tournament is all about visibility and if you can’t see it, you can’t be it. So if you don’t see the event and you don’t see those role models, you don’t believe you can be part of that.
“I think that inspiration the Lionesses had and so many other of major women sports at the moment, it means women and girls do feel there is a place for them in sport. We have taken learnings from what the FA [Football Association] did with the Euros and we’ve had lots of meetings with them. If we can leave this tournament inspiring others, then we would have done our job.”