Sunderland’s Stadium of Light to host historic Women’s Rugby World Cup match

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Sunderland’s Stadium of Light will host an historic rugby match.

The Stadium of Light has been announced as the host venue for the first match of the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup. The tournament, which will begin on Wearside on Friday, 22 August 2025, will be the biggest Women’s Rugby World Cup of all time.

The competition, which will host 16 teams at eight venues across 32 matches, will culminate at the home of English rugby, Twickenham - the only stadium with a larger capacity than the Stadium of Light. Managing Director of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, Sarah Massey, believes the first match will be a ‘massive’ event for the area. 

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Speaking at the launch event at the Stadium of Light, Massey said: “We’ve been working in collaboration with our cities and venues teams to engage with the local communities and maximise opportunities to give them an unforgettable and inclusive fan experience.

“This is the era of women’s sport and women’s rugby will make its biggest, boldest statement in 2025. With tickets going on sale next year, our message to rugby, sport and major event fans is mark your diaries now for the event of 2025. It will be massive.”

60 representatives from Houghton Rugby Club were also invited along to the event and take part in small-sided games on the pitch. The Red Roses will play their first match of the tournament on Wearside, although their opponents are yet to be confirmed. Canada, England, France and New Zealand have all automatically qualified for the tournament after reaching the semi final stage in 2021 - a tournament that England finished as agonising runners-up for the second-straight time.

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