ucd dublin women’s rugby world cup kingspan queen’s university belfast
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The pool stages take place in Dublin at two venues in UCD before switching to Belfast where the playoff matches will be staged at Queen’s University Belfast and the Kingspan stadium respectively. The semi-finals and final will be played at the home of Ulster rugby, as will Ireland’s subsequent playoff matches if they fail to make the semi-finals. The tournament runs from August 9th-26th.
The 12 countries that have qualified are divided into three pools of four teams. The three pool winners and the best runner-up will make the semi-finals, while the remaining countries will face re-ranking playoff games that will determine whether they contest fifth-eighth or ninth-12th places. There will be five matches for each country in total.
England are the world ranked number one side and have enjoyed the benefit of a full time, professional squad – that status changes after the competition – for the tournament. In a Grand Slam showdown at Donnybrook earlier in the year they beat Ireland to the Women’s Six Nations title. New Zealand and Canada are also very strong while the USA has included several of their Sevens stars.
They won four out of five matches in the 2017 Women’s Six Nations, including edging past France 13-10 at Donnybrook, who they’ll face in the pool stages. Tom Tierney’s side played two warm-up tests behind closed doors against Japan in UCD earlier in the summer, while their opponents in the opening match of the tournament, Australia, are eminently beatable.
Yes but three matches in eight days with a 28-player squad is a tough ask. Australia were hammered by New Zealand, England and Canada in a recent warm-up tournament and despite the presence of several high profile Sevens players who are fulltime professionals, it is a relatively inexperienced squad in the XVs format. Japan will pose different demands to the physically big Wallaroos while there was little to choose between Ireland and France in the Six Nations.
Not for Ireland’s pool matches, all three are sell-outs in the Belfield Bowl but there are tickets available for the other games and also the playoffs, semis and final when the tournament moves to Belfast at (www.ticketmaster.ie and www.ticketmaster.co.uk).
Yes. Eir Sport, RTE and ITV, depending on from where you’re tuning in.
Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster), Anna Caplice (UL Bohemian/Munster), Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s College RFC/Leinster), Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/Munster), Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster), Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster), Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians/Connacht), Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht), Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster), Marie-Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemian/Munster, capt), Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/Munster), Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht), Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian/Munster), Jeamie Deacon (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster), Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster), Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/Ulster), Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht), Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sene Naoupu (Harlequins FC), Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster).
Wednesday, August 9th: Ireland v Australia, Belfield Bowl (7.0)
Sunday, August 13th: Ireland v Japan, Belfield Bowl (5.15)
Thursday, August 17th: Ireland v France, Belfield Bowl (7.45)
Tuesday, August 22nd: Semi-finals and playoffs, QUB and Kingspan stadium.
Sunday, August 26th: Finals and playoffs, QUB and Kingspan stadium.