Ireland awarded 2017 Women's World Cup

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The Irish Rugby Football Union has been awarded the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup with Dublin and Belfast joint-hosting the event.

The pool stages will be played at University College Dublin with the semi-finals and finals playing out at Ulster's Kingspan Stadium. World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "Women's Rugby World Cup continues to go from strength to strength, proving a hit with fans, broadcasters and sponsors around the globe, with its compelling, competitive action and global profile.

"With impressive results on and off the field, the IRFU is a leader in driving forward the promotion and development of women's rugby and the union's passion, dedication and expertise in women's rugby was reflected in an impressive and forward think.

"The awarding of Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 to Ireland is great news for teams and fans as the sport continues to reach out and inspire new participants in our great game. I am sure that Dublin and Belfast will prove to be popular destinations."

The Women's Rugby World Cup attracted capacity crowds and record broadcast audiences in the last two tournaments in France in 2014 and England in 2010. IRFU CEO Philip Browne said: "We are delighted with today's announcement that Irish Rugby will host the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup. Interest and participation in women's rugby continues to grow and building on this momentum we believe Ireland can deliver the best Women's Rugby World Cup to-date.

"We hope that the growing interest in women's rugby in Ireland, world leading facilities at UCD, Queen's University Sport, Kingspan Stadium and our internationally recognised reputation for being one of the world's most welcoming nations will make an exceptional event for the entire country.

"We would like to thank World Rugby for the opportunity to host this prestigious event and look forward to working closely with them to bring the tournament to these shores.'