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World Rugby names Australia as preferred candidate to host 2029 Women's World Cup

"Today's announcement is another step in the right direction for Rugby in Australia"; Australia has been confirmed as the preferred candidate to host the Women's World Cup in 2029 by World Rugby; it was announced as preferred candidate for the 2027 men's tournament in November

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 04: (L to R) Shannon Parry of the Wallaroos, Jilly Collins of Rugby Australia, Alicia Keough of the Bid team, Olivia Wirth of the Bid Advisory Board, Josephine Sukkar and Mahalia Murphy (r) of the Wallaroos pose with junior rugby players during an Australian Rugby World Cup Bid Media Opportunity at Taronga Zoo on April 04, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images for Rugby Australia)
Image: Australia have been named as preferred candidates to host the 2029 Women's World Cup

World Rugby has announced Australia as the preferred candidate to host the 2029 Women's World Cup.

Monday's confirmation comes ahead of a week of meetings between World Rugby, Rugby Australia and government and city representatives to progress the hosting model for the men's and women's world cups in 2027 and 2029, followed by a final World Rugby Council vote in Dublin in May.

Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan said: "We're delighted to be named preferred candidate to host Rugby World Cup 2029.

"This is a truly wonderful addition to our bid for Rugby World Cup 2027 and we would love to welcome the pinnacle event on the women's XVs calendar to our shores for the first time in 2029.

"Today's announcement is another step in the right direction for Rugby in Australia as we head toward the final decision by World Rugby Council in May. We continue to be buoyed by the spirit of collaboration in which we are working with World Rugby."

Thompson scores hat-trick in Red Roses' 12-try rout of Italy

Lydia Thompson grabbed a hat-trick and Emily Scarratt notched her 50th England try as the Red Roses cruised to a 74-0 victory over Italy in the TikTok Women's Six Nations.

PARMA, ITALY - APRIL 03: Lydia Thompson of England runs with the ball during the TikTok Women's Six Nations match between Italy and England at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on April 03, 2022 in Parma, Italy. (Photo by Chris Ricco - RFU/Getty Images)
Image: Lydia Thompson scored a hat-trick in England's 74-0 thumping of Italy in Parma

The bonus point was already secured by half-time in Parma as tries from Thompson and fellow winger McKenna, plus scores from forwards Lark Davies, Shaunagh Brown and Alex Matthews helped England into a 31-0 lead at the break.

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Worcester Warriors' Thompson was over for her second within two minutes of the restart and put the seal on England's 20th win in a row with the final action of the match, while centre Scarratt came off the bench to notch her half-century of tries for the national team.

France too strong for Ireland; Wales pip Scotland late on

Ireland are still searching for their first win of the TikTok Women's Six Nations after being overwhelmed 40-5 by France in Toulouse.

Image: Laure Sansus went over in each half as France eased past Ireland

Livewire France scrum-half Laure Sansus ran in tries in each half to emerge as the most effective player for the hosts, who have now collected a maximum 10 match points after two rounds.

In Saturday's second clash, Wales turned things around from 19-7 down to beat Scotland 24-19 courtesy of a Ffion Lewis try with five minutes to go in Cardiff.

With five minutes left Lewis struck for the hosts, and though Scotland hammered at the Wales try-line in the closing stages they could not break through to suffer a frustrating loss.

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