England’s Rugby Football Union wants to stage the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup, with the final being held at 82,000 seat Twickenham, the largest dedicated rugby union venue in the world.
The RFU’s bid calls for a multi-city and multi-region plan for hosting the tournament, which would " 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,” RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney said.
“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 theme to the bid will be to deliver a legacy program in parallel to the tournament from 2022 to 2025 for growing the women’s game across England.
England hosted the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2010 and would be the first country to host it a second time. England have twice won the event, in 1994 and 2014.
In announcing the bid on Friday, the RFU admitted that for a final bid submission to be presented to World Rugby “sufficient private and public sector funding” must be secured by the January 2022 deadline.
France is also bidding to host the women’s tournament in 2025, which will be expanded to 16 teams. The next edition in New Zealand, which has been delayed by a year to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will have 12 teams.
The RFU, which hosted the Men’s World Cup in 2015, said it is also interested in bidding for 2031, though a final decision has not been made.
USA Rugby on Wednesday announced it was officially bidding for the Men’s World Cup in either 2027 or 2031 and the Women’s World Cup in 2029. Australia is considered the favorite for 2027.
World Rugby is scheduled to vote in May on the hosts for the 2025 and 2029 women’s and 2027 and 2031 men’s World Cups.