Twelve teams were drawn Wednesday for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup next August in Dublin, Ireland. Canada, New Zealand and Wales were drawn for Pool A, as well as one of the teams that will qualify from the Asia/Oceania qualifier out of Fiji, Japan and Hong Kong next month. Pool B features England, the reigning champions, USA, Italy and either Scotland or Spain. The winners of the Asia/Oceania qualifier will face hosts Ireland, France and Australia.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said at the draw, “The last Women’s Rugby World Cup in France was a watershed moment for the women’s game, with record crowds and massive TV audiences watching across the world. There are some fantastic matches in store for August and, with over two million women and girls currently playing the sport, I have no doubt that next year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup in Dublin and Belfast will be a fantastic event and encourage many more women and girls to get involved in the sport.”
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The last three teams will be selected at the end of 2016, with Fiji, Hong Kong and Japan meeting in a tournament Dec. 9–17. The top two teams will round out the 2017 WRWC pool, along with the winner of Scotland and Spain to secure the European qualifying spot.