Black Ferns to open Rugby World Cup against Wales

Fullback Selica Winiata. Photosport
Fullback Selica Winiata. Photosport

The Black Ferns will face Wales in their opening Women's Rugby World Cup fixture in August.

Tickets for the pool stage go on sale later today at 09:00 (GMT) on Ticketmaster (Ireland) with match schedules now confirmed.

The world's top players will battle it out for supremacy of their respective pools with games taking place across two venues in University College, Dublin (UCD Bowl and Billings Park), on August 9, 13 and 17.

Defending champions England will kick off the tournament in the UCD Bowl at 14:00 (local time) on Wednesday August 9 when they meet Pool B rivals Spain before New Zealand take on Wales in the opening game of Pool A at 14:45 in Billings Park.

Hosts Ireland get Pool C underway when they welcome Australia to the UCD Bowl at 19:00 and the first day of competition will come to a close when France play Japan in Billings Park at 19:45.

The Blacks Ferns' other pool opponents are Hong Kong and Canada.

See here for the full match schedule:

The cost of admission represents value for money with day tickets for each of the three pool days starting at just €5 for schoolchildren and €10 for adults (for Billings Park), while day tickets for the UCD Bowl start at just €10 for schoolchildren and €15 for adults.
Family tickets (two adults and two children) start from just €25 for Billings Park and €40 for the UCD Bowl, per day.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: "The pool stage fixture announcement and tickets going on sale is always an exciting time for teams and fans as they can really now plan in detail for August. The schedule has thrown up some fascinating matches, not least home favourites Ireland playing Australia on the opening day in Dublin. That promises to be a great battle and is sure to attract a big crowd to UCD.

"The Women's Rugby World Cup is going from strength to strength. The 2014 tournament in France was seen as a huge success as was the 2010 version in England. As women's rugby is currently one of the world's fastest growing team sports, we have no doubt that the 2017 event in Ireland will continue that upward trend and inspire the next generation of future stars."

Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 ambassador and former Ireland captain Fiona Coghlan said: "With just seven months to go until the first games in UCD, Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 takes another important step forward with the pool schedules confirmed and all tickets on sale.

"Having played in and experienced three Women's Rugby World Cups, I know that these are great sporting events and have no doubt that the 2017 tournament in Ireland will be the best ever. With ticket prices from just €5, everyone will have the opportunity to experience a major international sporting event on home soil, as some of the best athletes in the world battle it out for the Women's Rugby World Cup."

The semifinals will take place in Kingspan Stadium on Tuesday August 22 with the final scheduled for Saturday August 26, again in the home of Ulster Rugby. Ranking playoff games will take place in Queen's University on those same dates.

Ireland's knockout matches will take place in Kingspan Stadium regardless of their ranking position.

For more information around Women's Rugby World Cup 2017, visit the official website: www.rwcwomens.com

- NZ Herald

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