• Excitement builds for the 10th edition of the showcase tournament with England set to host biggest ever celebration of women’s rugby
  • New standards set for 2025 with teams increased from 12 to 16 as women’s participation accelerates around the globe
  • Annie Panter appointed to the Local Operating Company Board to represent the UK Government
  • WPP Chief People Officer Lindsay Pattison joins the Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director
  • Sean Summers, independent member of the World Rugby Events Company Board, appointed to the LOC Board as World Rugby representative

Preparations for Women’s Rugby World Cup England 2025 hosting continue to advance with the appointments of Annie Panter, Lindsay Pattison and Sean Summers to the Local Operating Company (LOC) Board.

Former field hockey international and Team GB Olympian, Annie Panter joins to represent the UK Government, reflecting their support of the tournament. Panter brings significant board and commercial experience to the group and, as a board member of UK Sport, insight into the wider UK sporting landscape. In addition to her UK Sport role, Panter is a Managing Director at Two Circles following their acquisition of TRM Partners. She has a broad role at the agency leading a number of projects, not least Two Circles’ rights management work with UEFA women’s football.

Recently appointed Chief People Officer at WPP overseeing the culture and human resources strategy for more than 100,000 colleagues, Pattison joins the LOC Board of directors as an Independent Non-Executive Director and will assume the role of Audit Committee Chair. Having previously served as WPP’s Chief Client Officer since 2018 and held the role of Worldwide CEO for media agency Maxus among other senior leadership roles in her field, Pattison complements the Board with her extensive digital and media experience reflecting Women’s Rugby World Cup England 2025’s ambitions around fan engagement through multiple channels. 

Summers joins the Board while maintaining his role as Executive VP of Mercado Libre, Latin America's largest ecommerce and fintech ecosystem, where he is CMO and also responsible for the development of its leading retail media platform, Mercado Ads. Summers is also leading Mercado Libre’s foray into the entertainment industry, which includes launching the free content platform Mercado Play earlier this year across Latin America and negotiating distribution agreements of premium platforms such as Disney+, Star+, HBO Max, Paramount+ and Deezer.  A leader in his field, over his 11-year tenure Summers has contributed to the exponential growth of the company, helping build a user base of more than 100 million active customers while being responsible for more than US$1 billion in annual marketing investments.

The Women’s RWC England 2025 Board comprises and operates within World Rugby’s new hosting model, whereby all host boards feed into the international federation’s Events Company Board, providing a centralised and aligned strategic approach to staging the sport’s showcase events.

To mark the recent two years to go milestone, World Rugby and the Rugby Football Union, with support from the UK Government, confirmed the host cities, venues and tournament dates that will provide the stage for the biggest ever celebration of women’s rugby. The Women’s RWC England 2025 brand – which marks a new visual identity for future Rugby World Cups – was unveiled at the World Rugby Awards 2023 in Paris [].

Kicking off on 22 August and concluding with the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 final on 27 September, the 10th edition of the showcase event will be the most accessible ever. The countrywide format and choice of stadia means an unprecedented opportunity to see, engage with and support the stars of the women’s game. The tournament aims to break new ground on fan engagement and inclusivity, with diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront of minds with a strategy to be unveiled early in the new year.

Independent Chair, Gill Whitehead said: “Annie, Lindsay and Sean are outstanding additions to the Women’s Rugby World Cup England 2025 Board and brilliantly placed to support our mission to deliver the biggest and best Women’s Rugby World Cup to date. We see this as a generational moment for women’s rugby and the greatest opportunity ever to accelerate the growth of the sport.

“The incredible depth of experience and knowledge the new directors bring will help us pull on key levers for growth through their marketing, digital and data, fan loyalty and commercial talent. I’m looking forward to working with Annie, Lindsay, Sean and the rest of the Board to deliver what will be an unforgettable tournament across England in 2025.”