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West Northants announced as host for prestigious Rugby World Cup 2025

22 August 2023

England's Women's rugby team at Franklin's Gardens in Northampton
Image credit: Adam Gumbs

West Northamptonshire will be taking part in the biggest-ever celebration of women’s international rugby having been announced as a host for the Rugby World Cup 2025 – and the 2-year countdown kicks off today (22 August).

The 10th edition of the women’s pinnacle global tournament is set to take place between 22 August and 27 September 2025, and will see matches taking place in front of a worldwide audience at Northampton’s legendary Franklins Gardens stadium - home of the internationally renowned Northampton Saints.

The tournament will be the most accessible women’s Rugby World Cup ever and will expand the reach of the game across the five-week period by bringing the world’s best players to cities and venues across the country, including:

  • Brighton and Hove – Brighton and Hove Albion Stadium
  • Bristol – Ashton Gate
  • Exeter – Sandy Park
  • London – Twickenham Stadium
  • Manchester – Salford Community Stadium
  • Northampton – Franklin’s Gardens
  • Sunderland – Stadium of Light
  • York – York Community Stadium

While the full match schedules and ticketing details will be announced next year, the milestone two-year celebration and confirmation of dates and venues provides the ability for fans across England to start to plan their Rugby World Cup 2025 experience.

It’s a privilege for West Northamptonshire to be chosen as a host venue for the women's 2025 Rugby World Cup following our successful partnership bid. As a Northampton Saints season ticket holder, I know that there’s nothing quite like watching live rugby from the stands and I am excited to see this prestigious tournament take place at Franklin's Gardens.

Major sporting tournaments like this can bring huge benefits to the area, from attracting visitors and boosting the local economy to encouraging people to get active and showcasing West Northants to a worldwide audience. West Northamptonshire's unique rugby culture is something special, and just one of the things we’re thrilled to share with teams from around the world.

This event will undoubtedly provide a wealth of opportunities and help us build on our growing reputation as a major sporting destination. We're also intent on securing a lasting legacy that builds participation in both Rugby and other sports for future generations, and especially for women and girls whose participation in sport continues to be lower than amongst males.
Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of WNC and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure

Franklin’s Gardens, while most well-known for housing Northampton Saints, is also the home venue of Loughborough Lightning, with the Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby side set to play all of their home league matches in Northampton this season thanks to the two sides’ partnership forged in 2021.

The Gardens has also played host to the Red Roses, England’s women’s team, twice in the last two years, welcoming record crowds for women’s rugby in the region on both occasions; while Saints’ community-based programmes continue to invest in women’s and girls’ rugby, seeing participation reach expand year-on-year across camps and tournaments.

We are absolutely over the moon to have been selected as one of the host venues for the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup.

We continue to see participation in women’s and girls’ rugby and the audience for the sport grow throughout our region, and have been delighted over the last few years to have contributed to that via our partnership with Loughborough Lightning, as well as through hosting women’s international matches in Northampton.

So, to bring several World Cup matches to our home ground in 2025 is fantastic, and we hope this will create a lasting legacy of success in Northampton and beyond by inspiring the next generation of female players.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Club’s operations team for all their hard work to ensure we will play a part in this historic World Cup, and also to thank West Northamptonshire Council for their help throughout the process so far.
Mark Darbon, Northampton Saints Chief Executive
Franklin’s Gardens is a traditional rugby hotbed in the UK and we can’t wait to bring the Rugby World Cup there in 2025.

We want to inspire the next generation of players in the Midlands and having one of the focal points for the region as a host venue will go a long way to doing just that.
Emily Scarratt, Centre and Fullback for Loughborough Lightning

RWC 2025 aims to continue to raise the bar for women in rugby, inspiring the next generation of young players and supercharging the growth of women’s sport in England and across the globe. The Rugby World Cup Impact Programme, delivered by the RFU in partnership with the UK Government and Sport England, will also create more opportunities for females than ever before across all levels of the game through its volunteer, coaching and internship programmes.

Following the record-breaking success of Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand, women’s rugby has built an incredibly strong foundation and as one of the fastest growing sports in the world, RWC 2025 is set to take the game to the next level as the biggest celebration of women’s rugby with fans and players very much at its heart.

We look forward to continuing to collaborate with all our partners as we strive to deliver a world-class and historic event that will leave a lasting legacy, both in England and around the world as we aim to inspire millions of new players and fans and continue to grow the game we love.
Sir Bill Beaumont, World Rugby Chairman
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