With the introduction of a new women’s Super Rugby League to be introduced in September 2017, this exemplifies the raise is skill and want from fans for women’s rugby. Women’s rugby is still mostly classed as amateur this league will surely invite more girls into the sport. Saracens Women, Wasps FC Ladies, Harlequin FC are some of the teams to be invited to play.
Women’s rugby isn’t anything new. The Women’s Rugby Premiership was founded in 1990 has been playing side by side with the men’s game since then. Women’s rugby mirrors the men’s. They have the same competitions. The Women’s Rugby World Cup in France 2014 was won by England. In a comparison between the men’s and women’s World Cup’s on 2011 and 2014 it showed that the women’s game shadows the men. Overall 70% of the points scored in the women’s game was tries while the men’s points from tries was only 58%. This suggests more of a free flowing game with less breakdowns and to many more entertaining.
The current Six Nations broadcasted by the BBC and Sky Sports show the want for women’s rugby. The dominance of the Home Nations help too. The past Olympic Games in Rio included for the first time rugby seven’s. A faster paced game than the normal 15, both genders put on a great display. The popularity for rugby may have had some impact to create Women’s Super Rugby. The RFU director Nigel Melville said: “Women’s Super Rugby will drive standards in the game, both domestically and at an elite level, and continue to encourage more women and girls to play the sport.
“We now have the opportunity to build a world-class domestic competition, with the backing and funding of the RFU, demonstrating the union’s commitment to growing the game at all levels.”
Edward Clark, head of rugby development at Premiership club Saracens FC said on the Women’s Premiership: “To be part you have to demonstrate that you are going to go out and work in the community and push and make sure that women’s rugby and girls rugby more specifically grows at a lower age.
The fact that the governing bodies are looking at it and saying if you want to play at the highest level part of your demonstration is to say ‘we are going to commit to growing our game from the bottom up.”
According to This is England Women’s Rugby, a report from England rugby, in 2013 15,500 women and girls were registered to play rugby at the start of the 2013. Where once their aim for 2017 was 25,000 it’s now doubled. The RFU has set their sights on achieving more. For women’s rugby, this is a sign of improvement
The growth in popularity of women’s rugby has resulted in more faith by the RFU to commission Women’s Super Rugby. The success of the UK’s national team and the participation at grassroots level supports this. It looks to be a bright future for women’s rugby and will soon help it grow 100,000 strong.
The other teams who’ll make up the ten for the Women’s Super League in September can be found HERE