Eight venues named for 2025 Rugby World Cup

Featured image credit: Richard Glendenning on Unsplash

The 2025 Rugby World Cup in England will take place in eight stadiums across the country as the women’s tournament expands from 12 to 16 teams.

The eight venues are Twickenham Stadium (London), American Express Stadium (Brighton), Ashton Gate (Bristol), Sandy Park (Exeter), AJ Bell Stadium (Salford), Franklin’s Gardens (Northampton), Stadium of Light (Sunderland), and LNER Community Stadium (York). AJ Bell Stadium is subject to final confirmation.

The competition will take place from August 22 to September 27, 2025, with the full match schedule and ticketing details to be announced next year. The venues have been announced to mark two years until the start of the tournament.

World Rugby said the selection of cities and venues represents the “core vision” to create a celebration of women’s rugby across England. It is hoped the countrywide format will provide more fans with opportunities to attend matches. The final venues have been selected following a competitive selection process.

Four of the venues selected – Ashton Gate, Franklin’s Gardens, Sandy Park and AJ Bell Stadium – are home to Premiership rugby clubs. Twickenham (pictured) is the historic home of the England national team and in April the stadium welcomed a world-record 58,498 fans for the Women’s Six Nations decider between England and France.

American Express Stadium, Stadium of Light and LNER Community Stadium are primarily football venues. Brighton’s American Express Stadium was a host venue during the men’s Rugby World Cup in 2015.

The most recent women’s Rugby World Cup took place in New Zealand in 2022 and attracted more than 150,000 fans. The tournament, which was won by host nation New Zealand, featured 12 teams but this will expand to 16 for the 2025 edition.

The 2025 tournament will be the first Rugby World Cup hosted under the new joint-venture model between World Rugby and England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU), with funding from the UK government and support from host city partners.

Sue Day, chief operating officer and chief finance officer of the RFU, said: “Through our continued investment in the women’s game, the Red Roses have already inspired a new generation of girls and boys to play rugby. Our home World Cup will further accelerate this growth and our continued partnership with World Rugby and the UK government will support our aim to make that happen.

“In taking Rugby World Cup 2025 to venues the length and breadth of England, we want to give fans who may not have watched rugby before the chance to be inspired by world-class sporting action. It’s access to tournaments like these that can light a spark in people, and we hope it will encourage a new generation of people to give rugby a try for themselves.”

Stuart Andrew, UK Sports Minister, added: “Staging events like the women’s Rugby World Cup will further cement the UK’s position as a global home of major sporting events. We support the RFU’s and World Rugby’s ambitious plans to host matches right across England and make the tournament the most well-attended in the history of the sport – setting a benchmark for future World Cups. 

“It promises to be a memorable occasion as we showcase the best of women’s rugby union to a worldwide audience, and continue to break barriers for women’s sport.”

Canada, England, France and New Zealand have already qualified for the World Cup after finishing in the top four of the last tournament. The remaining positions will be filled via World Rugby’s new women’s international 15s tournament, WXV, and regional competitions in 2024.