The International Rugby Board has announced that France will host the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup. The showcase international tournament for Women’s rugby will be staged in Paris and will build on the record-breaking 2010 tournament in England.
The IRB Council selected the Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR) as the host Union following a recommendation from the Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Board to approve a tender that clearly demonstrated a commitment to delivering a world class environment for teams and fans and a platform to grow Women’s rugby in France and throughout the world.
“The Women’s Rugby World Cup is the premier event in Women’s fifteen-a-side rugby and since its inception in 1991 has provided the impetus for the global growth of the Women’s game,” said RWCL Chairman Bernard Lapasset, speaking at the announcement in Versailles, Paris.
“In awarding the seventh Women’s Rugby World Cup to the FFR, we felt that the tournament would be ideally positioned to capitalise on the phenomenal success of the 2010 tournament and elevate the Women’s game to new heights.
“The Fédération Française de Rugby has considerable experience of hosting major international rugby tournaments, highlighted by the success of the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
“With world-class facilities, strong tournament management and infrastructure and an extensive and enthusiastic support base for Women’s rugby, it is perfectly positioned to host a memorable and ultimately successful 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
“The IRB is committed to driving the development and global growth of the game in order that more nations can compete regularly at the very top level and more women and girls can participate and enjoy the sport.
“Working with the IRB, the FFR will deliver a tournament that will leave a lasting development infrastructure that will further promote the growth of the Women’s game.”
FFR President Pierre Camou commented: “The Fédération Française de Rugby is very proud and pleased to have been chosen to host the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
“Hosting the world’s premier Women’s rugby event is an exciting opportunity to support the growing success of the game in France.
“With 10,600 registered female players in 2011, the Women’s game has experienced continuous growth and it is the FFR objective to develop this even more.
“This decision by the IRB also recognises the FFR and our country’s capacity to organise international events, which is a very significant compliment. For this reason, I would like to thank and congratulate all the FFR teams for their excellent contribution to our hosting application.”
The announcement is a further boost to a sport that has experienced significant growth in participation and profile since the International Olympic Committee’s decision to include Rugby Sevens in the Olympic Games from 2016.
Competitiveness is increasing with emerging rugby nations such as Brazil, Kenya, China and Russia all committed to development and performance programmes, while the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow promises to underscore the global nature of Women’s rugby.
IRB Women’s Development Manager Susan Carty said: “These are exciting times for Women’s rugby, with over 200,000 women currently playing the game in over 100 countries around the world.
“In 2006 the IRB unveiled a Strategic Plan specifically for the Women’s game which provided the impetus for the growth around the world, the strengthening of the Women’s Rugby World Cup and the introduction of Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens.
“The introduction of a women’s RWC Sevens competition in Dubai in 2009 was a huge success and the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup in England showcased Women’s rugby to the world.
“The IRB is committed to ensuring that all the processes are in place for Women’s rugby to flourish. With Olympic Games inclusion secured a further detailed strategic review is well underway.
“This will deliver the blueprint for our Unions to capitalise on Olympic inclusion and enable the IRB to support the development of the sport in both existing and new rugby markets.”
Details regarding the global qualification process for the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup will be announced later this year with qualifying expected to kick off in 2012.
Coached by Philip Doyle and captained by Fiona Coghlan, Ireland finished seventh in last year’s tournament in England following wins over the USA, Kazakhstan and Scotland.
Click here to view a promotional video for the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup in France.