2014 Women's Rugby World Cup

Watch the world’s toughest sportswomen compete at Marcoussis

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Kai Sedgwick

Kai Sedgwick
HomeAway travel expert


Women's rugbyRugby is a sport that calls for physical strength, tenacity and team spirit. It’s a gruelling game – one that elicits images of bodies slamming and tackles flying. While not the most obvious of women’s sports, rugby is fast attracting female converts. The Women’s Rugby World Cup may have a lower profile than its male equivalent, but there’s no disputing its growing appeal.

As the biggest event in women’s rugby, the World Cup epitomises the best elements of the game: friendly rivalry, fierce competition and good sportsmanship. In August 2014, the tournament kicks off in Marcoussis, just outside of Paris. Make a holiday of it and you can enjoy a fortnight of rugby interspersed with days spent wandering the streets of the French capital. Tick off its major landmarks, shop in its most famous avenues and sample the cuisine it’s exported to the rest of the world. Rugby in Paris? Why not?  

 

The Rugby World Cup – for women


   

History of the Women’s Rugby World Cup History of the Women’s Rugby World Cup

Held every four years, the Women’s Rugby World Cup was first won by the United States back in 1991. However, the first two tournaments were not officially sanctioned by the International Rugby Board. IRB endorsement arrived in 1998, when the Netherlands hosted the competition. This summer, when the tournament commences in France, champions New Zealand will be looking to retain the trophy. They’ll face stiff competition from South Africa, England and the French, who will understandably be keen to win the tournament on their own turf.

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Schedule for the Women’s Rugby World Cup Schedule for the Women’s Rugby World Cup

On August 1 2014, the seventh edition of the Women’s Rugby World Cup will kick off at the Centre National du Rugby. The £46 million centre, opened in 2002, includes five rugby pitches – one of which is covered – plus a gym, swimming pool and media centre. In the knockout stages of the tournament, matches will switch to the Stade Jean-Bouin, where the semis and final will be played. Matches are scheduled to take place on the 1, 5, 9 and 13 August, with the final following four days later.

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What to do at the Women’s Rugby World Cup: Marcoussis What to do at the Women’s Rugby World Cup: Marcoussis

15 miles from the centre of Paris lies Marcoussis, a quiet community best known for its National Rugby Centre. Aside from sport, there’s not an awful lot to do in the market town if truth be told. That’s ok though – just jump on the Paris Metro at Saint-Michel-sur-Orge station and head straight to Gare du Nord. On the days when the Rugby World Cup isn’t playing, there’ll be ample opportunity for exploring the streets of Paris and stopping to admire its famous architecture, including the Arc de Triomphe and Basilica of the Sacré Coeur.

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Fuel for the Women’s Rugby World Cup: Dine in Paris Fuel for the Women’s Rugby World Cup: Dine in Paris

It’s no secret that Paris is populated with some of the greatest restaurants in the world, ranging from street-front cafés to bistros and vast contemporary spaces serving haute-cuisine. Mon Vieil Ami is a gourmet bistro that specialises in French regional cooking, with stews and casseroles slowly cooked to perfection. Elsewhere, step back in time to 1920s Paris at the art deco La Coupole. The brasserie is prized for its shellfish and immaculately dressed waiters. While the tourist hotspots can be pricey, eating out can still be achieved on a budget. La Pré Verre, close to the Collége de France, serves delicious smoked, glazed and roasted dishes for less than €13 apiece.

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When the Women’s Rugby World Cup is over: Shop in Paris When the Women’s Rugby World Cup is over: Shop in Paris

As Europe’s fashion capital, Paris is the centre for all things chic. Every year, Asian holidaymakers arrive in their droves to snap up designer labels in the city’s most exclusive shopping districts. While you may not choose to base an entire holiday around shopping – for your credit card’s sake if nothing else – it would seem a shame to visit Paris without a spot of window shopping at least. Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, two of the city’s most famous department stores, are stocked with his ‘n’ hers fashions, gourmet foods, dazzling jewellery and home furnishings.

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Images

Main image © chrissmallwood
Image 1 and 2 © Rob Marson
Image 3 © Madebycedric
Image 4 © Moyan_Brenn
Image 5 © mikeheth

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