Women's Rugby World Cup: Ireland hope to stage 2017 event

England's Emily Scarratt is tackled by Julianne Zussman of Canada
England beat Canada in the 2014 Women's World Cup final in Paris

Ireland have submitted a bid to host the Women's Rugby World Cup in 2017.

The Irish RFU said on Monday that venues in Dublin and Belfast would be used, with the final to be staged at Ulster's redeveloped Kingspan Stadium.

The pool stages would be played at University College Dublin with the semi-finals at the Queen's University sports grounds in south Belfast.

The last World Cup in 2014 was held in France and won by England who had been the hosts four years earlier.

Previous hosts of the tournament were Canada (2006), Spain (2002), Netherlands (1998), Scotland (1994) and Wales (1991).

The next finals tournament has been brought forward to avoid being held in the same year as the Women's World Cup Sevens.

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The Kingspan Stadium, formerly known as Ravenhill, has a capacity of more than 18,000, having recently been upgraded with the completion of three new stands between 2009 and 2014.

"Interest and participation in women's rugby continues to grow and we believe Ireland can deliver the best tournament to date," said Irish RFU chief executive Philip Browne.

"We hope that the world leading facilities at UCD, Queen's University Sport and Kingspan Stadium, and our internationally recognised reputation for being one of the world's most welcoming nations, will make an Irish bid the stand-out submission for the 2017 tournament."

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