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Here's All You Need To Know As Ireland Prepares To Host The 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup

By James Fenton

July 31, 2017 at 3:35pm

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Make sure you're on your best behaviour because the eyes of the international sporting world will be very much focused on Ireland over the next few weeks. 

Teams and fans from around the globe have already started to descend into Dublin and Belfast, the two cities which will host games at the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup. 

The eighth edition of the tournament will consist of 12 teams all vying to take home the trophy which is currently held by England after their win in France in 2014. 

Ireland has a history of putting on a spectacular show on the rare occasion we're asked to put on international events with no finer example than the 2003 Special Olympics during which we housed 7,000 athletes representing 150 countries. 

It's not often that Irish sporting teams enter World Cups with genuine chances of winning but the girls in green have been on an upward curve in recent years and we reckon they have as good a chance as any. 

Here's all you need to know. 

How does it work?

The tournament is divided into three pools as follows:

Pool A

Canada 

New Zealand 

Wales

Hong Kong

Pool B

England

United States

Italy 

Spain 

Pool C

France 

Ireland

Australia

Japan 

All three pool winners as well as the best runner up will take their place in the semi-finals. Pool matches will take place between August 9 and 17.

Where does it all take place?

Dublin will kick it all off before passing the baton all the way up the M1 to Belfast. 

All pool games will take place at UCD. More specifically, the UCD Bowl and Billings Park UCD. 

The tournament will be completed in Belfast when the the semi-finals take place at the Kingspan Stadium on August 22 before the final at the same venue on Saturday August 26 at 2pm. 

Queens University will also host games to determine the final ranking of all 12 teams. 

More info here. 

Screen Shot 2017 07 31 At 15 10 03

How can we get tickets?

Unfortunately, all of Ireland's pool games have sold out but for information on semi-final and final packages click here.

If you purchase tickets for one match at one venue you have access to any other matches at that venue on that day. 

More info here.

Will it be on TV?

Yep. RTÉ will show all of Ireland's matches live. 

The dates for our pool games are as follows: 

Ireland v Australia August 9

Ireland v Japan August 13

Ireland v France August 17 

Eir Sport will also be showing games throughout the tournament. The final will be shown live on RTÉ. 

Ryle Nugent, head of sport at the national broadcaster, said:

"The staging of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland will undoubtedly capture the imagination of a sports loving nation in August and RTÉ is delighted to partner with eir Sport, another Irish broadcaster, to ensure that Ireland’s games in the tournament and the final are delivered to Irish audiences free-to-air on TV and online. RTÉ will also bring live radio coverage of the tournament to listeners as part of a comprehensive cross-platform offering so that audiences can follow team Ireland's games across RTÉ TV, radio and online."

What are Ireland's chances?

While we're hoping to get out of the group, Paddy Power offers long odds of 25/1 on us actually keeping the trophy here in Ireland. 

We're fourth favourites behind England (8/11), New Zealand (6/4) and Canada (12/1). 

Our chances haven't been helped either as the news was confirmed on Monday afternoon that influential captain Niamh Briggs has been ruled out with an achilles injury. 

Manager Tom Tierney named our squad last week. Louise Galvin has since been called in to replace Briggs.

Find out about the girls carrying the hopes of a nation in the video below.

(header pic: IRFU)

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