Hosts France continued the format started four years earlier, with fantastic crowds attending games at Marcoussis before the knockout stages moved to the Stade Jean-Bouin in Paris.
The pool stages will long be remembered for Ireland's shock victory over New Zealand, which helped knock the Black Ferns out of the running before the knockout stages and end their 20-match unbeaten run.
"It's absolutely wonderful to win against the world champions. Tonight we'll go out and enjoy a beer, then tomorrow we'll start getting ready again..." - Fiona Coghlan, Ireland.
That meant new-look semi-finalists with Ireland joining Canada, England and France. A then world-record crowd packed the stands in Paris to see England and Canada to through to the final, and it was England and Canada go through to the final, and it was England who were crowned champions, 20 years on from their last triumph after a 21-9 win.