C’est parti!

The 12 teams participating in Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 have arrived in France and are all set for kick-off in Paris this Friday, August 1.

Under the opulence of the City Hall in Paris, and with an earlier photo call in the shadow of the iconic Eiffel Tower, #WRWC2014 was officially launched in the French capital on Tuesday.

New Zealand are in France to defend their title, which they claimed after a thrilling final against England in 2010.

Team captain Fiao’o Faamausili said: “We’re all here for the same reason, to win the World Cup.

“There’s definitely pressure there but it’s how we deal with it, as a captain and as a team. We’ve told the girls not to think about what’s happened in the past, it’s about what happens now. We are taking each match as it comes and just enjoying it.”

England are hoping they will be lifting silverware at Stade Jean Bouin on August 17, and their captain Katy McLean thinks there is a great mood in the camp.

“You can’t help but look back to something like (Women’s Rugby World Cup) 2010 which was massive for the women’s Game but obviously the result wasn’t ideal for us. That was really tough but four years later you have to move on, you learn lessons, you play more Rugby and get better.”

“Now we’re here. It’s such a fantastic place to be in. France is such a Rugby nation and we’re involved in another World Cup, it’s fantastic.”

This edition of the Women’s Rugby World Cup will be broadcast to more countries than ever before with over 300 hours of live Women’s Rugby to be beamed to homes all around the globe. Speaking in Paris, International Rugby Board CEO Brett Gosper said the tournament will be a great boost for the Game.

“We know that women’s Rugby is gaining popularity. It’s grown two or three times since the last World Cup four years ago. There is a raised interest and the visibility is huge.

“It also means that it finds its way into school curricula around the world which is very important because you find it in PE classes, it gives it an acceptability and it means that it’s being sampled by students who wouldn’t usually sample it. We’re really looking forward to the event.”

Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 runs from August 1 – 17 in Paris. The pool stages will be played at Marcoussis with Stade Jean Bouin hosting the semi-finals and final.

Team Captains in Paris: Mandisa Williams – South Africa, Fiona Coughlan – Ireland, Shannon Parry – Australia, Kelly Russell – Canada, Katy McLean – England, Gaelle Mignon – France, Fiao’o Faamausili – New Zealand, Samoa – Cynthia Ta’ala, Rachel Taylor – Wales, Kazakhstan – Anna Yakovleva, Spain – Ana Maria Aigneren, USA – Shaina Turley

Care of: rwcwomens.com]]>