Today, Tuesday, June 20, marks just 50 days until the Women’s Rugby World Cup which kicks off in UCD on Wednesday, August 9. As the 12 teams from across the world continue their preparations, Ireland’s Paula Fitzpatrick and Cliodhna Moloney were on hand to reveal the first official tournament branding, as they tested the all-important post-pads in UCD this morning.
The 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup, which will take place in Dublin and Belfast, will be the largest women’s international sport event to be held in Ireland this year.
The first of the Women’s Rugby World Cup pool games, which will be held in Dublin on August 9, 13 and 17, will see reigning World champions England meet Spain, while hosts Ireland get their campaign underway against Australia at 7pm that evening.
WRWC 2017 Tournament Director Garrett Tubridy said: “Tickets have been selling really, really well. We’re sold out of most of the tickets for the pool stages. We added extra capacity here at UCD because of the unprecedented demand, so it’s very exciting and we’re all ready to go.
“The atmosphere is going to be amazing. Unlike a normal international where you have one incoming team, in this case you’re going to have 11 incoming teams – 12 teams including the Irish team and the Irish fans and what they’ll bring to the party – all up here on the same days, on August 9, 13 and 17, so it’s going to be a lot of fun!
“The semi-finals are on August 22 at Kingspan Stadium. Both semi-finals will be on that day plus the Irish ranking game if Ireland haven’t qualified for the semi-finals. So if fans have missed out on the opportunity to get tickets for the pool stages because they’re sold out, there is still an opportunity to see Ireland play in the Women’s Rugby World Cup this summer – they can watch them on semi-finals day at Kingspan Stadium.
“Obviously we’re all hoping that they’re in one of the semi-finals – I know that’s what the Ireland team themselves want and that’s what the fans want – but irrespective, if they don’t make the semi-finals, they’ll still have their ranking game there.
“It’s the same again on August 26, we’ll have the final at Kingspan Stadium, we’ll have the 3rd-4th place play-off at Kingspan Stadium, and we’ll have the ranking game. So three games will be there again, and you’re guaranteed to see Ireland play in the World Cup either way.”
Commenting on the build-up to the tournament, Ireland Women’s hooker Cliodhna Moloney said: “It’s hugely exciting at the minute. Obviously we’ve got lots of camps and lots of training going on, so we’re flat out.
“We don’t have too much time to think about it which is probably a good thing. Nervous and excited, I suppose. Selection still has to be made, so it’s a mixture of both but I can’t wait.
“It’s great to see the support so far and obviously they’ve added in more capacity for the (UCD) Bowl which has been huge for us. I think the home crowd will make a massive difference. Obviously Irish supporters are the best in the world and it’ll be great to see them out here for the match days and up in Belfast for the semi-finals and finals as well.”
Back rower Paula Fitzpatrick, who captained Ireland in this year’s Six Nations, added: “In terms of it being a home World Cup, we’re really looking forward to it. Hopefully we’ll get a huge crowd out to support us. We’re familiar now with the set-up in UCD, we’ve been here for a training week where we played Japan in two friendlies, so we’re really liking the set-up and looking forward to it.
“The closer it gets the more real it seems. Even hearing it’s 50 days to the World Cup, it’s so, so close, it’s going to really, really fly around. It’s really exciting now and we can’t wait to get started.”
A limited number of tickets remain for the some pool matches, while tickets are also selling fast for the final stages in Belfast. Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk/wrwc2017 and www.ticketmaster.ie/wrwc2017.
For more information on the WRWC Trophy Tour, please visit www.rwcwomens.com/trophy-tour.