The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has entered a bid to host the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2025, with plans to adopt a multi-city and multi-region approach to delivering the tournament. 

RFU suggests that this hosting model will facilitate ‘great opportunities’ for people living in different parts of the country to attend the tournament, promoting rugby and enhancing participation in the sport nationwide.

“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,” commented RFU Chief Executive, Bill Sweeney.

“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.”

A central aim of the offer is to deliver a legacy programme in parallel to the tournament from 2022 to 2025 for ‘growing the women’s game’ across the country.

This will look to focus on creating capacity through facility development and the recruitment of female coaches and referees, creating a multigenerational legacy through a call to arms for more young girls and University women to play, and for women who didn’t have the opportunity to play to become fans.

Additionally, the programme promises to improve facilities standards to ‘enhance the experiences females have’ through modernising toilets, upgrading changing rooms and developing social spaces in clubs across the country.

Sue Day, RFU Chief Operations and Finance Officer and former England Women’s Captain, added: “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.”

A study by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) claimed that hosting the RWC in 2025 would be of benefit to the local economies of host venues around the country through job creation, with a boost of £156.25 million.

Subject to securing sufficient private and public sector funding, the final bid submission will go to World Rugby for consideration in January next year.

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