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England have set their sights on defending their WXV 1 title in Canada

England have set their sights on defending their WXV 1 title in Canada

England's Red Roses are set to travel to Canada to defend their WXV 1 Championship title as they plan ahead to take part in the 2025 Women's Rugby World Cup.

John Mitchell's side will be bidding for their first World Cup title since 2014 on home soil next year, and a third-place finish in the Guinness Women's Six Nations will guarantee a place in WXV 1 in the autumn.

The Red Roses made amends for their 2021 RWC final loss to hosts New Zealand by traveling to the Southern Hemisphere again in 2023, winning the inaugural WXV 1 tournament and beating the Black Ferns in the process.

Along with New Zealand, Canada and France, England have already booked their place in the 2025 Women's Rugby World Cup by reaching the semi-finals of the previous edition in 2022.

Six more teams will qualify as winners of six regional championships in 2024 and the final six spots will go to the top-finishing WXV teams that have not yet qualified through the 2021 RWC and regional championships.

The second edition of the WXV, the historic competition launched by World Rugby to transform the women's game, will serve as the perfect launching pad for the Red Roses.

In addition to Canada hosting WXV 1, World Rugby announced that South Africa will host WXV 2 again, while WXV 3 will return to Dubai.

“We are delighted to be working with the Canadian Rugby Union, the South African Rugby Union and Dubai to host the WXV later this year,” said Sally Horrocks, President of the Women’s World Rugby Union.

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“The tournament plays an essential role in helping us develop women’s rugby, providing more opportunities for players, exposing the game to more fans and inspiring more girls to play.

“Our hosts all share our ambition to take the tournament to the next level and further develop the women’s game.”

The WXV Championship has become central to World Rugby's ambition to accelerate the growth of the women's game.

Last year's highlights included Scotland's 38-7 bonus-point win over Japan in WXV 2 which saw them crowned champions, narrowly edging Italy on points difference despite the Azzurri's bonus-point win over USA.

WXV 3 saw a thrilling clash between Ireland and Spain, with Scott Beamand's side snatching a 15-13 victory to take the cup back to Ireland.

After record crowds at the 2023 World Rugby Pacific Four Series, Canada, flying high in the top four in the Women's Rugby World Rankings, will host the WXV 1 tournament.

Building on the momentum achieved in 2023, WXV 2 returns to South Africa and WXV 3 returns to Dubai, providing a world-class environment for all participating teams.

Horrocks added: “It is important that teams get adequate preparation and playing time ahead of the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup, and the WXV is designed to help provide this for players and coaches alike.

“I saw first-hand how much competitiveness grew during the tournament last year and I look forward to doing the same again.”

This year's tournament will kick off earlier in the calendar to support the Union's better planning and preparation for the 2025 Women's Rugby World Cup.

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All three levels will be played over the same three weekends to enable the six qualifying positions to be confirmed immediately after the tournament.

Match schedule and ticket information are scheduled to be announced in the coming weeks.

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