Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Samoa and USA all submitted their interest to host the premier 15-a-side tournament for the first time by the deadline on October 30.
The unprecedented number of interested Unions reflects the growth in participation and profile of Women’s Rugby, further boosted by the hugely successful inaugural Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai this year and IOC decision to include Rugby Sevens in the Olympic Games, starting in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The qualification process for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2010 in England concluded last week with Kazakhstan beating Japan 43-5 in Singapore to secure the last remaining place as the Asia qualifier.
They will join defending champions New Zealand, 2006 runners up and hosts England, bronze medallists France, Canada, South Africa, USA, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden and Australia in the 12-team tournament.
With all the teams now confirmed, the Pools will be announced shortly for the tournament which runs from 20 August to 5 September 2010.
The qualification process saw 16 teams take part, doubling the eight teams which attempted to reach Women’s Rugby World Cup 2006 in Edmonton, Canada, via this route.
“Women’s Rugby World Cup has been a major success for the Women’s Game since its inaugural tournament in 1991,” said Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset.
“The phenomenal rise in participation, skill, competitive international fixtures and global profile of the sport, together with the introduction of Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens and Olympic Games inclusion all mean that the Women’s Game has never been in better health.”
Rugby World Cup Limited will now analyse the tenders prior to the IRB Council selecting the Host Union for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 at its meeting in May.
“We are looking forward to the biggest Women’s Rugby World Cup to date in England in 2010 and have been working closely with the RFU to deliver a wonderful tournament, reaching new fans and further raising the profile of the Women’s Game,” said IRB Women’s Development Manager Susan Carty.
“The host of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 can build on this and we can bring the tournament to one of the four countries, all of which have a strong tradition in Women’s Rugby.”
The previous hosts of Women’s Rugby World Cup are Wales (1991), Scotland (1994), the Netherlands (1998), Spain (2002) and Canada (2006).
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