The 12 teams participating in the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup, including Ireland, have arrived in France and are all set for kick-off in Paris this Friday.
Under the opulence of the City Hall in Paris, and with an earlier photocall in the shadow of the iconic Eiffel Tower, #WRWC2014 was officially launched in the French capital today.
New Zealand are in France to defend their title, which they claimed after a thrilling final against England in 2010.
Team captain Fiao’o Faamausili said: “We’re all here for the same reason, to win the World Cup.
“There’s definitely pressure there but it’s how we deal with it, as a captain and as a team. We’ve told the girls not to think about what’s happened in the past, it’s about what happens now. We are taking each match as it comes and just enjoying it.”
This edition of the Women’s Rugby World Cup will be broadcast to more countries than ever before with over 300 hours of live Women’s rugby to be beamed to homes all around the globe.
Speaking in Paris, International Rugby Board CEO Brett Gosper said the tournament will be a great boost for the game.
“We know that Women’s rugby is gaining popularity. It’s grown two or three times since the last World Cup four years ago. There is a raised interest and the visibility is huge,” he said.
“It also means that it finds its way into school curricula around the world which is very important because you find it in PE classes, it gives it an acceptability and it means that it’s being sampled by students who wouldn’t usually sample it. We’re really looking forward to the event.”
The Women’s Rugby World Cup runs from August 1 to 17 in Paris. The pool stages will be played at Marcoussis with Stade Jean Bouin hosting the semi-finals and final.
Some tickets are still available for the matches at prices starting as low as €;5 and can be bought here.
Ireland captain Fiona Coghlan was pictured at today’s photocall with the other 11 skippers – Mandisa Williams (South Africa), Shannon Parry (Australia), Kelly Russell (Canada), Katy McLean (England), Gaelle Mignon (France), Fiao’o Faamausili (New Zealand), Cynthia Ta’ala (Samoa), Rachel Taylor (Wales), Anna Yakovleva (Kazakhstan), Ana Maria Aigneren (Spain) and Shaina Turley (USA).