England’s Rugby Football Union has confirmed it wants to submit a bid to host the women’s Rugby World Cup in 2025 after providing an expression of interest to World Rugby.
The tournament was last staged in England in 2010 and for the 2025 bid, the RFU plans to adopt a multi-city and multi-region approach to delivering the tournament.
A central theme to the bid will be to deliver a legacy programme in parallel to the tournament from 2022 to 2025 for growing the women’s game across the country.
As part of this legacy programme, the RFU would look to support the development of women’s rugby in Scotland, Wales and Ireland so all four nations could qualify for the 2029 World Cup.
England are currently ranked No.1 in the world, having won the last three Women’s Six Nations titles, and last clinched the Rugby World Cup in 2014.
RFU Chief Executive Bill Sweeney said: “Securing RWC 2025 would add to the impressive list of major sporting events that the UK has attracted since London 2012, reinforcing the UK’s international reputation as a leading major events’ destination and a global leader in promoting women’s sport.
“As well as providing great economic returns, hosting the tournament would help to further promote rugby as an inclusive sport and provide a springboard to narrow the gap between male and female participation.”
The RFU say that since the Red Roses won the world title in 2014, female participation in England has grown from 13,000 to 40,000 registered players in clubs, with a growing pipeline of 80,000 girls playing in schools, colleges and universities.
The organisation added that the legacy programme will see facilities standards improved to enhance the experiences women and girls have in hundreds of clubs.
Through investment, the programme will modernise toilet facilities, upgrade changing rooms and develop social spaces in clubs across the country.
Grass roots education and mentor programmes will also aim to attract 500 new female coaches and 1,000 match officials and 60,000 new registered players.
With the aim of attracting more fans of women’s rugby in the build up to 2025, renewed effort will be put on marketing and encouraging fan attendance at Allianz Premier 15s matches.
Sue Day, RFU Chief Operations and Finance Officer and former England Women’s Captain who represented England at three Rugby World Cups and won three grand slams said” “Securing a bid to host the Women’s RWC would be incredible.
“We want to leave a lasting legacy for women’s rugby in England, the UK and across the world, both in terms of attracting more people to play and attracting new fans.
“As we have seen from other home World Cups in Cricket, Hockey and Netball, a RWC would further advance all women’s sport and nothing would beat watching the Red Roses compete in front of a full capacity crowd at Twickenham Stadium.”
Subject to securing sufficient private and public sector funding, the final bid submission will go to World Rugby for consideration in January 2022.