Ireland to host Women's World Cup

Ravenhill will host the Women's Rugby World Cup final in 2017
Ravenhill will host the Women's Rugby World Cup final in 2017

Ireland is to host the Women's Rugby World Cup in 2017.

Pool stages will be held in Dublin before the tournament moves to Belfast for the semi-finals and final.

Philip Browne, Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) chief executive, said: "Interest and participation in women's rugby continues to grow and building on this momentum we believe Ireland can deliver the best Women's Rugby World Cup to-date."

The initial stages will be hosted at University College Dublin before the semi-finals and final at Queen's University Belfast and Ulster Rugby's Kingspan Stadium.

Stormont Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin said: "This is fantastic news and I applaud all those involved in the bid to bring the Women's World Cup to Ireland.

"We have shown that we can host major sporting events in recent years. This is another opportunity to welcome competitors and supporters from across the globe to these shores.

"A year since it opened, Kingspan Stadium at Ravenhill has witnessed plenty of memorable moments. I have no doubt this worthy venue for world-class rugby will see many more as it hosts the best teams on the planet."

Last year the event was held in France and won by England.