Wales‘ Non Evans admitted her side face a tough challenge in tournament at the official launch of the Women’s Rugby World Cup at Twickenham on Tuesday.
Following the announcement of the pools for the tournament, which will run from August 20 to September 5 in London, the match schedule and venues have now also been confirmed.
The Final will be played at Twickenham Stoop, along with the semi finals and bronze final with all other matches played at Surrey Sports Park, a new multi-sport facility which will host all 12 teams for the duration of the tournament.
“It is particularly exciting to be launching Women’s Rugby World Cup 2010 at a time when Women’s Rugby is experiencing unprecedented growth and interest throughout the world and of course here in England,” said Mike Miller, RWCL Managing Director.
“This year has been an historic one for Women’s Rugby. Olympic Games inclusion will ensure that the sport has a profile around the world like never before, providing an exciting catalyst for further growth and development while reaching out to new audiences.”
Although Wales have been drawn in a fiercely competitive group alongside tournament favourites New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, the draw has been kind in so far as Wales take on the Aussies and South Africans before taking on the Black Ferns.
Experienced campaigner Non Evans concedes Wales have a huge task ahead of them if they are to reach the knockout stages, let alone the final.
“Everybody is really excited for the World Cup. I have got to be honest, I was a little bit disappointed when I saw our group because we have been pooled with New Zealand, Australia and South Africa,” she said.
“Although South Africa are a developing nation they have improved, Australia have just won the World Cup Sevens and New Zealand speak for themselves as current world champions, so it is going to be difficult for us.
“In a semi final or in a one off game I think anybody is capable of beating anybody, but we are just going to have to look after ourselves, make sure we don’t get any injuries because three tough games in a week is a lot, but we are positive, we are really excited and hopefully we can do well.”
“If you want to win the World Cup you have to beat the best teams in the world, but that is going to be difficult with three games in a week playing against the best teams in the world. We’ll remain positive, England beat New Zealand last weekend which shows they aren’t invincible and we beat England last year in the Six Nations, so anything is possible and we will be doing our best to get out of that pool, believe you and me.
“I played against England for years and years and we haven’t come close. I think beating England in the last season’s Six nations has given the girls confidence because England are sometimes put up on a pedestal like New Zealand but at the end of the day they are 15 girls on the pitch and it will give us confidence going into the World Cup that no-one is unbeatable.”
For the full tournament schedule, click this link here.