Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 to open in Sunderland and close in Twickenham

  • Watch Tom Johnston's report.

Sunderland will play host to the opening game of the 2025 Women's Rugby World Cup.

England women's national rugby union team, the Red Roses, will open the tournament at the 48,707-seater Stadium of Light on 22 August.

The match will be the first fixture of the 10th edition of the women's global tournament.

Twickenham Stadium will host the final of the 16-team competition on 27 September.

Twickenham hosting the final opens the opportunity for a new world-record crowd for a women's international. Credit: PA

Former England captain, Sarah Hunter, who was born in North Shields, told ITV Tyne Tees: "For it to be the Red Roses playing on the opening game of Rugby World Cup 2025 is just so special.

"Hairs on the back of my neck stand up when we talk about it, bringing an amazing sport, like ours, to the region, is so special. Having grown up and spent a vast majority of my life here".

Hunter bowed out from the international game in March after playing her 141st Test against Scotland at Newcastle's Kingston Park. She now coaches and hopes the tournament will inspire other people to take up the sport.

World Rugby chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, said: "Women's Rugby World Cup England 2025 will be a generational moment for rugby.

"The biggest, most accessible and most widely-viewed, its unstoppable momentum will reach, engage and inspire new audiences in ways that rugby events have not done before.

"The selection of Sunderland for the opening match underscores that mission.

"We want this to be a sports event that everyone is talking about, that everyone wants to be a part of and one that inspires young people to be a part of".

Other matches will be played at York Community Stadium.

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