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Everything you need to know about the Women’s World Cup

The first-ever co-hosted Women’s World Cup is set to kick off in Australia and New Zealand on Thursday.

It’s the first to feature 32 teams and includes England’s Lionesses and the defending champions, the USA, who are looking to become the first team in the competition’s history to win the tournament three times in a row.

From fixtures to players and their teams – here’s everything you need to know about the tournament.

The tournament begins on Thursday with the final taking place on 20 August 20 in Sydney at the Accor Stadium. There are nine host cities, five in Australia and four in New Zealand.

women's world cup

The 32 teams were divided into four pots based on the FIFA Women’s World Rankings as of 13 October.

Pot One contained both co-hosts Australia and New Zealand along with the six highest-ranked teams, including England and defending champions USA, while the Republic of Ireland were in Pot Three.

With the exception of UEFA, teams from the same confederation could not be drawn in the same group.

Lionesses matches and group stage games

The group stage will run over a two-week period and begins on 20 July with Group A match of New Zealand vs Norway at 8am and then a Group B match Australia vs Republic of Ireland at 11am.

The Lionesses will kick off their first match on Saturday, here’s a full list of their games in the group stage:

• 22 July – England vs Haiti at 10.30am
• 28 July – England vs Denmark at 9.30am
• 1 August – England vs China at 12pm

The Republic of Ireland will also play in matches on: 26 July against Canada at 1pm and Nigeria on 31 July at 11am. Meanwhile the USA will play their first match on 22 July against Vietnam.

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Lionesses prepare for World Cup

Teams to watch

The United States are undoubtedly one of the teams to watch in this tournament as reigning back-to-back champions.

England also go into the tournament as one of the favourites and expectations are high with last summer’s European Championships triumph on home soil representing the nation’s first major tournament victory since the 1966 World Cup.

Other teams who have won previously include: Germany (2003, 2007), Japan (2011), and Norway (1995). Germany also reached the final of the 2022 Euros last year.

Zambia and the Philippines are among the countries making their debut at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

England's Lionesses won the Women's Euro 2022 last year after beating Germany
England’s Lionesses won the Women’s Euro 2022 last year after beating Germany

Lionesses line-up

Lionesses manager Sarina Wiegman is taking 23 players to the World Cup including Lucy Bronze, Lauren James and Mary Earps who have headed to Australia and New Zealand.

Beth Mead, who won the Golden Boot in last year’s Euro 2022 triumph, has been recovering from an ACL injury sustained in November and will miss out.

Captain Leah Williamson and midfielder Fran Kirby, who are injured, are also among those who will not be going to the tournament.

You can find the full squad here.

Read more:
UK calls on FIFA and broadcasters to ‘quickly reach agreement’ to show World Cup

Rest of the schedule

After the group stage will be the round of 16 followed by the quarter-finals, which will be held in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney, are scheduled for 11 August and 12 August.

The first semi-final will then be played on 15 August in Auckland, with the other semi-final taking place on 16 August at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which will then host the final on 20 August.

A third-place play-off will be played the day before the final on 19 August in Brisbane.


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