- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

DUBLIN (AP) - Ireland’s hopes of hosting the Rugby World Cup for the first time in 2023 were boosted on Wednesday when it received the 2017 women’s tournament.

In May that year, the winner of the 2023 RWC hosting rights will be revealed.

To be trusted with the Women’s Rugby World Cup will go a long way to helping Ireland beat off 2023 rival bidders South Africa and Italy. More countries are expected to contend.

The Women’s Rugby World Cup pool games will be held at University College Dublin, and the playoffs in Belfast, World Rugby announced.

The 2014 WRWC in France set crowd and TV audience records, and the Irish, Women’s Six Nations champions in 2013 and this year, contributed by upsetting four-time defending champion New Zealand. England beat Canada in the 2014 final.

The WRWC was brought forward a year in 2017 to synch with the Olympic and World Cup Sevens cycles, and will return to a four-year gap.

The 2018 World Cup Sevens was awarded to San Francisco Bay.

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