With the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup just nine months away, the tournament was officially launched at Twickenham on Monday and Ireland captain Joy Neville was one of six players present from the competing teams.
Following the recent announcement of the pools for the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup, which will run from August 20 to September 5 in London, the match schedule and venues have now also been confirmed.
Click here to view the pools and match schedule.
Ireland, with new coach Kevin West at the helm, will face the tournaments hosts and their arch rivals England in a mouth-watering Pool B opener at Surrey Sports Park on Friday, August 20.
The Irish girls, who finished third in last season’s RBS Women’s 6 Nations Championship, will take on the USA on Tuesday, August 24, and then finish out their pool campaign against Kazakhstan on Saturday, August 28.
Asked about the task of facing England first up, Ireland captain Joy Neville said: “I don’t think (there could be a harder start for us), it will be a great occasion. It will give us an awful lot of publicity opening the tournament against England on their home patch.
“It is definitely a massive advantage for us to have the World Cup so close to our home grounds and we will be hoping for a lot of support from our friends and families and all the Ireland fans.
“We’re really looking forward to the game against England in particular and I think it will be quite a competitive game.”
On completion of the three four-team pools, the sides will be seeded based on the position in which they finished in their respective pools, with the top four going through to the semi-finals.
The Women’s World Cup final will be played at the Twickenham Stoop, along with the semi-finals and bronze final.
All of the other pool and ranking matches will be played at Surrey Sports Park, a new multi-sport facility which will host all 12 squads for the duration of the tournament.
Mike Miller, Managing Director of Rugby World Cup Limited, said: ” It is particularly exciting to be launching Women’s Rugby World Cup 2010 at a time when Women’s rugby is experiencing unprecedented growth and interest throughout the world and of course here in England.
“This year has been an historic one for Women’s rugby. Olympic Games inclusion will ensure that the sport has a profile around the world like never before, providing an exciting catalyst for further growth and development while reaching out to new audiences.”
The 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup will feature a host of innovative strategies aimed at leaving a lasting legacy for the Women’s game in England, including a ticketing policy which links the tournament to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
For the first time ever, tickets for a Women’s Rugby World Cup will be available exclusively through Ticketmaster.
Rugby World Cup Limited is also delighted to announce that Sky Sports will be the host broadcaster for the sixth edition of Women’s Rugby World Cup and have committed to broadcast live a minimum of seven matches.
Joy Neville was part of the Irish side which finished eighth at the last Women’s World Cup in Canada three years ago, and Monday’s tournament launch has certainly whetted her appetite for the 2010 event.
“Just being present at the launch, it has really hit home that such a fantastic tournament is just around the corner,” said the UL Bohemians and Munster number 8.
“Even though it is nine months away, it will just fly straight after the Six Nations. It is just around the corner really.
“Progressively we have been improving bit by bit and the standard of rugby has risen immensely. We just hope that it will keep rising with a lot of hard work before the next Six Nations and World Cup, and we’re looking forward to it now.”
IRB Women’s Development Manager Susan Carty said: “This year’s inaugural Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai raised the bar for the Women’s game, setting a high standard of competition and providing fans with exciting matches and unearthing new stars.
“We now have a wonderful opportunity to take the game to a new level with the tournament in England.
“I have no doubt Women’s Rugby World Cup 2010 will further highlight the huge strides that have been, and will continue to be, made in the Women’s game.”
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