Two years from today the 2025 Women's World Cup will kick off in England, and today World Rugby and the RFU have confirmed the host cities, venues and tournament dates
Twickenham: Venue for the final of the 2025 World Cup
Kicking off on 22nd August and concluding with the Rugby World Cup final, on 27 September, the 10th edition of the World Cup will visit more venues across the host country than ever before.
Since the World Cup was taken over by the IRB, now World Rugby, the events have been played at only one or two venues, because the main criteria has frankly been to keep costs low as much as possible.
In 1998 the World Cup took place entirely at the newly opened rugby centre in Amsterdam. In 2002 it was held entirely in Barcelona. For 2006 it was split between Edmonton and St Albert and 2010 was all at the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford apart from the finals at The Stoop in Twickenham.
In 2014 the event was held similarly at French rugby training centre in Marcoussis, with the finals in Paris; 2017 was split between Dublin and Belfast, while 2022 was split between Auckland and Whangarei.
However the two World Cups before the IRB took over- 1991 and 1994 - both had seven venues, but all fairly close to each other.
The next event in 2025 will take the World Cup into a new direction. There will be eight venues and the tournament will be a true nationwide festival of rugby with games at:
· Brighton and Hove – Brighton and Hove Albion Stadium
· Bristol – Ashton Gate
· Exeter – Sandy Park
· London – Twickenham Stadium
· Manchester – Salford Community Stadium
· Northampton – Franklin’s Gardens
· Sunderland – Stadium of Light
· York – York Community Stadium
Only four of the venues – Ashton Gate, Sandy Park, Franklin’s Gardens and Twickenham - have previously hosted women’s test rugby.
Commenting on the spread of venues, Sue Day, now RFU Chief Operating Officer and Chief Finance Officer said that “In taking Rugby World Cup 2025 to venues the length and breadth of England, we want to give fans who may not have watched rugby before, the chance to be inspired by world class sporting action. It’s access to tournaments like these that can light a spark in people, and we hope it will encourage a new generation of people to give rugby a try for themselves.”
The last World Cup broke new attendance records with more than 150,000 fans attending, and 1.8 million viewers in England and New Zealand tuned into the final with more than 156 million video views on social media, but 1994 remains the only World Cup that we know of, to have made a financial surplus. 2025, which already has three “official partners” (Mastercard, Capgemini and Gallagher) is well-placed to beat both of these records
The full match schedule and ticketing details will be announced next year.
Canada, England, France and New Zealand have already qualified for Rugby World Cup 2025 after finishing in the top four of RWC 2021 and the remaining positions to be filled via WXV and regional competitions in 2024.