Everything you need to know about the Women's Rugby World Cup

The Women’s Rugby World Cup begins in Dublin on Wednesday, 9 August when the Red Roses start the defence of their title against Spain, but do you know everything about the tournament?

England’s women head into the competition as the number one ranked side in the world as well as off the back of a nine-match winning streak and only once, in 1998, have they not been involved in the final.

Here we provide a round-up of all the details you need to know ahead of the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup.


All the pool games take place in Dublin at two venues based on the campus at University College Dublin (UCD). The Red Roses open against Spain at UCD Bowl and then move to Billings Park UCD for their matches against Italy and USA. The tournament then moves to Belfast in Northern Ireland where Ulster’s 18,000-capacity Kingspan Stadium, the tournament's final host, and Queen’s University’s Stadium will hold the rest of the games.


POOL A: Canada, New Zealand, Wales, Hong Kong.

POOL B: England, United States, Italy, Spain.

POOL C: France, Ireland, Australia, Japan.

England’s opponents

Spain (World ranking: 8th) – Wednesday 9 August (14:00 BST)

Spain came through a two-legged qualifier with Scotland to secure their place at the 2017 tournament, beating the Scots both home and away. The last time England met the Spanish was at the last World Cup in the pool stages when they ran out 45-5 winners. However, Spain then won their final pool game against Samoa and beat South Africa 36-0 in the ninth-place play-off three years ago. England have only lost once in their meetings with Spain and that was in 2001 in a non-cap game at the European Championship, a competition Spain won last year.

Italy (World ranking: 9th) – Sunday 13 August (14:30 BST)

After a 15-year absence, Italy secured their first appearance at a World Cup since 2002 after their performances across the 2015 and 2016 Six Nations meant an automatic place ahead of Scotland. The Red Roses won 29-15 at the Twickenham Stoop in February when on their way to the Six Nations Grand Slam and in 15 meetings with the Italians, England have won all 15 games.

USA (World ranking: 7th) – Thursday 17 August (14:30 BST)

The winners of the inaugural competition in 1991, the USA have found things trickier since the formative years of the tournament. Although the Americans were finalists in 1994 and 1998, they have not reached the last four of the competition since then, and finished sixth in France in 2014 when they were beaten 55-5 by New Zealand in the fifth-placed play-off. However, that performance was enough to automatically secure their place at this tournament. Since England lost to the Americans in the first ever final in 1991, they have won 14 games straight against the Eagles.


Much like with most major tournaments it is four points for a win and two for a draw. You also collect a bonus-point for scoring four or more tries in a game or by losing by seven or fewer points.

The 12 teams are split into three pools of four and play each team within their pool once. The top four performing teams progress straight to the semi-finals, with the winners of those games then competing for the World Cup while the losers play in the third place play-off.

The fifth to eighth best performing teams play a game to decide who will compete in the fifth and seventh place play-off, with the same format for the four worst performing teams who play each other for the ninth and 11th place play-off. This will give every team a rank in the tournament from first to 12th.

How to follow?

All of England’s games will be broadcast live on ITV and ITV 4 while BBC Radio 5 Live or BBC 5 Live Sports Extra will provide full match radio commentary of every game and there will be a live text commentary service on World Rugby’s website.

Your Red Roses

Follow the Red Roses on our social media channels at 'England Rugby' or using the hashtags #RedRoses #SendHerVictorious #WearTheRose #WRWC2017.