'It's a great opportunity for us as a host nation' - Tom Tierney

Ireland captain Claire Molloy (l) and Lindsay Peat (r) training at UCD.
Ireland captain Claire Molloy (l) and Lindsay Peat (r) training at UCD.
Women's Rugby World Cup
Venues: Dublin and Belfast Dates: 9-26 August
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio Ulster medium wave and text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

Ireland Women's head coach Tom Tierney hopes that hosting the Women's Rugby World Cup will result in a lasting legacy for Irish rugby.

The pool stages of the tournament begin in Dublin on Wednesday with the semi-finals taking place in Belfast.

"Hopefully the legacy of this World Cup is that we increase the numbers playing even further to really drive this game forward," Tierney said.

Ireland begin their tournament against Pool C rivals Australia on Wednesday.

"Women's rugby is going from strength to strength and I'm very proud the small part that I've played in it," Tierney said.

"The whole purpose of me coming into the job was that there was a dual focus; to grow the number of players capable of playing international rugby but also to be competitive in every game and to keep that standard that was there from the previous management team."

"We are very pleased with our job of work and it gives us great confidence going into this World Cup that we've got a squad of 28 players now, who are all capable of playing international rugby, and it's just about preparation and hopefully we can be in the right mindset to go out and perform one game at a time."

Ireland head coach Tom Tierney gives instructions to his players in training.
Ireland head coach Tom Tierney gives instructions to his players in training.

Wallaroos looking to build on Olympic success

The tournament hosts will begin their campaign against Australia at the UCD Bowl in Dublin and will also take on Japan and France in Pool C.

Having played just five Tests since the 2014 World Cup, Australia's preparations for this year's tournament have not been ideal.

Wallroos head coach Paul Verrell is hoping to repeat the success enjoyed by the Sevens squad at last year's Rio Olympics, when they took home the gold medal, with co-captains Shannon Parry and Sharni Williams both included in the squad for this month's tournament.

Ireland's Pool C fixtures
Wednesday 9 AugustAustralia19:00 BST
Sunday 13 AugustJapan17:15
Thursday 17 AugustFrance19:45
All matches at UCD Bowl, Dublin

Having lost to England at the semi-final stage in 2014, Tierney believes his players will need to use that experience to avoid the distraction of competing as tournament hosts.

"The girls have put in too much work to lose focus either because of outside factors or by looking too far ahead in the tournament," Tierney said.

"We're going to take Australia on, we'll play them on their merits and hopefully we'll come out on top."

"We've got a squad that are very cohesive, which is a key element to any foundation block for a tournament.

"We're under no illusions that the Australian game is going to be a very tough game, filled with a lot of Olympic gold medallists, so it's going to be a real tough one and we're just looking forward to getting started."

Commentary on Ireland's Pool matches will be on Radio Ulster medium wave and the BBC Sport website

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