Sarah Massey has been appointed 2025 Rugby World Cup managing director ©World Rugby

Sarah Massey has been appointed as managing director for the 2025 Women's Rugby World Cup in England.

Massey was chief executive of last year's World Athletics Championships in Oregon, following on from a seven-year stint at the International Hockey Federation as events, marketing and strategy director.

She has also worked with the International Tennis Federation on its business strategy planning and Advantage All equality strategy, and overall boasts more than 30 years of experience in sports administration.

Her work with the local operating company (LOC), featuring representation from World Rugby and England's national governing body the Rugby Football Union (RFU), is set to begin next month.

"Rugby has always been a big part of my life and a catalyst for my career in sport," Massey reflected.

"I began working for the Rugby Football Union and led me into working on a transformative Rugby World Cup 1995.

"It is that same opportunity to change the game, with women and girls at the forefront of World Rugby and RFU’s growth strategies, that really attracted me to this role.

"Working as a unified LOC, in full partnership with World Rugby, the RFU, UK Sport and the host cities, we have the opportunity to achieve something very special, impactful and that will ultimately take the women's game and rugby more broadly to the next level."

The 2025 Women's Rugby World Cup in England is set to feature an expansion from 12 to 16 teams ©Getty Images
The 2025 Women's Rugby World Cup in England is set to feature an expansion from 12 to 16 teams ©Getty Images

Gill Whitehead was appointed as independent chair for the Rugby World Cup 2025 earlier this year, and welcomed the appointment of Massey.

"Attracting someone of Sarah's calibre, experience, expertise and insights from a host of major sports events is another demonstration of intent for a Rugby World Cup that will be so much more than a world-class event," she said.

"As an inspirer, motivator and accelerant, England 2025 will change the game, attracting new fans and participants to the sport, championing equality and changing the game for a new generation of incredible women in rugby."

The 2025 Women's Rugby World Cup is set to feature 16 teams, up from the 12 who participated at the delayed previous edition in New Zealand last year.

England was awarded the 2025 Rugby World Cup last year, and it is set to mark the second time the women's tournament has been held in the country following on from 2010.

New Zealand have won six of the last seven Women's Rugby World Cups, with England the only other winners in that time in 2014.