World Rugby chairman praises Ireland's hosting of Women's Rugby World Cup

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont says Ireland did an exceptional job at hosting the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup.

He has described the tournament as a 'ground breaking' event which has 'raised the bar.'

The pool stages in Dublin sold out with 17,516 attending matches, while the final attracted 17,115 spectators.

"This tournament will be remembered as a very special and ground-breaking rugby event. It raised the bar," said Mr Beaumont, speaking to the World Rugby website.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont at the omen's Rugby World Cup Welcoming Ceremony. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

"Compelling action, huge fan interaction and a strong family feel characterised an event that captured hearts and minds beyond the traditional rugby community.

"The level of global coverage and excitement is testament to the performances of the world’s top teams and reflects the surge in interest around the world.

"Off the field, our friends from the IRFU did an exceptional job at hosting the event, while the volunteers and fans were simply brilliant."

Ireland 2017 broke a lot of records which bodes well for both women's rugby and Ireland's hopes of hosting the men's Rugby World Cup in 2023.

The tournament had a record total attendance of 45,412 and was the most socially engaged World Rugby event of 2017.

A peak of 2.65 million tuned in to ITV in the UK to watch the final between England and New Zealand, who went on to lift the trophy.

The game was the largest single audience for a Women’s Rugby World Cup final and almost half of the audience for the men’s final in the UK at RWC 2015.

IRFU president Philip Orr added: “Hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup has been a tremendous honour for Ireland and one which has been embraced enthusiastically by the Irish public.

However, the inquest into the host nation's poor performance continues.

Defeats to France, Australia and Wales saw Ireland finish 8th in the 12 team tournament.

Former Irish Women's coach Philip Doyle says the IRFU have questions to answer.

"There was no skill development done in the last three years.

"The fitness levels have to be questioned. They had the most time training from any other side that I ever had.

"I heard of players being tired going into to the World Cup. You can't have players going in tired to a World Cup. You got to have them fresh."


By Steve Neville

Most Read in Sport