The International Rugby Board has announced that England will host Women's Rugby World Cup 2010. The prestigious tournament, which was last held in Edmonton, Canada in 2006, will be staged in London.
The IRB Executive Committee selected the Host Union following a recommendation from the Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Board after considering detailed tenders from the Rugby Football Union and the German Rugby Union.
"Women's Rugby World Cup is the showpiece event in Women's Rugby and since its inception in 1991 has provided the impetus for the global growth of the Women's Game," said Rugby World Cup Limited Board Chairman Bernard Lapasset. "In awarding the sixth Women's Rugby World Cup to the Rugby Football Union, the IRB felt that the tournament would be best positioned to elevate the Women's Game to new heights."
"The Rugby Football Union has considerable experience of hosting major international Rugby tournaments, including Rugby World Cup and with world class facilities, strong tournament management and infrastructure and an extensive and enthusiastic support base for Women's Rugby, it is perfectly placed to host a memorable and successful Women's Rugby World Cup 2010."
"The Rugby Football Union in conjunction with the Rugby Football Union for Women will deliver a tournament that will leave a lasting development legacy that will further promote the growth of the Women's Game. The English Rugby Community will, of course, embrace Women's Rugby World Cup", added Lapasset.
Lapasset also praised the quality of the German proposal. "Germany is a key strategic market for Rugby's ongoing global growth and the RWCL Board and IRB Executive Committee were both very impressed with the German Union tender. We are sure Germany will host other IRB events in the near future."
The announcement is another significant boost for the Women's Game, which is experiencing an unprecedented level of global competition. The global qualifying process for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 in Dubai is well underway with 11 of the 16 women's teams having booked their place at the historic tournament. By its conclusion in late October, the qualifying process will have involved 83 women's teams.
"The Women's Game is going through a phase of exciting growth," explained Lapasset. "In 2006 the IRB unveiled a Strategic Plan specifically for the Women's Game and that identified the pathway for the ongoing growth of Women's Rugby. It was supported by a targeted funding plan of over £3 million for the period 2006-2010, which culminates in two critical tournaments; Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai next year and then Women's Rugby World Cup 2010 in England."
"These two tournaments, in conjunction with a global qualification process and existing tournament structures, will guarantee an unprecedented level of elite Women's competition for around 90 Unions over the next two years. This expanded competition pathway underpinned by the Women's Strategic Plan point to what promises to be the most competitive Women's Rugby World Cup ever in 2010," added Lapasset.
The global qualification process for Women's Rugby World Cup, involving all six IRB regions for the 2010 tournament will be announced by the end of the year with qualifying expected to kick off in 2009.