Rugby: Ireland’s Women drawn in Pool B with champions New Zealand in 2014 Women’s World Cup.
2013 Six Nations champions Ireland face a mammoth task against current World champions New Zealand when the 2014 Women’s World Cup tournament takes place in France next year.
*Champions New Zealand drawn against USA, Ireland and Kazakhstan
*Hosts France in tough pool with Australia, Wales and South Africa
*2010 runners-up England to face Canada, Spain and Samoa
*The Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 pool allocation draw has ensured some thrilling match-ups will be on display in France.
The much-awaited draw took place in the Hotel de Ville in Paris and created some mouth-watering clashes next August.
Hosts France have been drawn in Pool C with Australia, Wales and South Africa, in what is set to be a tough and physical pool, while 2010 runners-up England will play Canada, Spain and Samoa in Pool A.
In Pool B, defending champions New Zealand will face tough clashes against USA and Ireland as well as Asian qualifiers Kazakhstan as they attempt to win a fifth successive title.
Speaking after the draw at Hotel de Ville in Paris, IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “This is a really exciting day for Women’s Rugby. We now know the pools for France 2014, and fans are going to see some really excellent matches.”
“The World Cup in 2010 saw a great standard of Rugby, but I believe the matches next August will see an even greater level of intensity and skill.”
“I wish all 12 teams the very best over the coming year as they prepare for this magnificent event.”
Irish Head coach Philip Doyle said: “We are familiar with Kazakhstan and the USA from the last time and both teams present a really physical challenge.
“We beat USA in the pool stages but they came back hard at us in the play-offs and I expect nothing less this time around.
“In terms of New Zealand, we are delighted to have drawn them as we have not faced them before and we will relish the chance to play them.”
Meantime current captain Fiona Coghlan added : “The Black Ferns are the only team ranked above us in the world that we haven’t played, so it’s a very exciting prospect to test ourselves against the World champions.
“With just the top 12 teams in the world qualifying for the World Cup the draw was always going to be tough no matter what pool you end up in.”
Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 will take place in Paris from August 1-17. The pool stages will take place at FFR Marcoussis, with the semi-finals and final being played at Stade Jean Bouin.
Pool A – England, Canada, Spain, Samoa
Pool B – New Zealand, USA, Ireland, Kazakhastan
Pool C – Australia, France, Wales, South Africa
The fixtures and kick-off times for #WRWC2014 will be announced at a later date.