Women’s Rugby World Cup Starts Today

If you miss watching world class athletes competing for their countries now that the soccer World Cup is over, you’re in luck. Today, the women’s Rugby World Cup starts in Paris and it will be televised on the Universal Sports Network.

The tournament boasts three groups with four teams to a group. The games will be played with 15 players a side (the Olympics, by contrast will be sevens). Two teams advance out of each group to play in the knockout rounds.

The United States Team is looking to make the final for the first time since 1994. The team, however, faces tough competition in its group from both Ireland, against whom the U.S. plays today, and New Zealand. New Zealand is a perennial powerhouse and has won the last four World Cup titlesThe U.S. roster has 10 players who played in the 2010 world cup and hopes to make it to the final. 

Another team to watch include England, which is hoping to avenge its loss in the last World Cup final, That loss, to New Zealand, came on England’s home turf and they would like to find a way to come out on top in 2014. But they will have to deal with newly strengthened teams such as Ireland, Canada, France, Australia, and the US. As more countries pour resources into their teams, England and New Zealand’s historical advantages have slipped. While that may not be good news for those top teams it is good news for the sport and for fans looking to watch great rugby.

The matches start today and run through August 17.

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