With 100 days to go until the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup 2010 kicks off in London on Friday, August 20, tournament organisers are making final preparations for the showcase event.
The Rugby Football Union for Women (RFUW) organising body and tournament owners Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) are delivering a comprehensive programme which celebrates and promotes Women’s rugby while leaving a lasting legacy for the growth of the Women’s game worldwide.
RWCL Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “This landmark represents the countdown to what promises to be a memorable and ultimately successful Women’s Rugby World Cup.
“In 100 days’ time, the top 12 international teams in the world will compete for the ultimate prize in Women’s fifteen-a-side rugby in what will be a true celebration of the strength and stature of the Women’s game.
“We are confident that planning and preparation are ahead of schedule and excitement around the tournament is growing by the day.
“With 10 matches broadcast live by host broadcaster Sky Sports, including the semi-finals and final from the Twickenham Stoop and an additional highlights and match streaming coverage via the official tournament website, www.rwcwomens.com, we are confident that more people than ever before will be able to access this showpiece tournament.”
The innovative ticket sales strategy which includes discounted tournament passes for rugby club members has provided strong early sales, particularly for the matches at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford.
Rosie Williams, Managing Director of the RFUW, said: “The brand new multi sports facility at Surrey Sports Park is now open and will provide a wonderful venue for the players, with exceptional match day pitches, leading training facilities and a world-class athletes village all on site.”
Ireland’s opening game in Pool B is against hosts England at Surrey Sports Park (kick-off 6.30pm).
Kevin West’s charges will also face the USA on Tuesday, August 24 (4.30pm) and Kazakhstan on Saturday, August 28 (4.30pm) at the same venue.
Ireland centre/winger Shannon Houston is looking forward to her second World Cup experience, having made her debut against France during the 2006 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Edmonton, Canada.
“We have England first up, which is actually going to be brilliant. We have never beaten them before, but the last three matches we’ve been able to get quite close but never able to finish it out,” she said.
“It’ll also be the opening match of the tournament and will be televised on Sky Sports so it’ll be a massive occasion.
“We lost to USA in the last World Cup but are hoping to change that around this time. They’re a pretty big and physical team, have a few flyers, but I think we’ll be up to the challenge this time around.
“I don’t know too much about Kazakhstan, but I’m sure they’ll have some good athletes so we’ll have to work hard no matter who the competition is.”
Ireland finished third in the RBS Women’s 6 Nations for the second year running, thanks to a hat-trick of home wins, and Houston is quietly confident that the girls in green can challenge for some of the top positions in London.
“We placed eighth at the last World Cup, and I think we’ve a great opportunity to finish higher than that this time,” she added.
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