The New Zealand World Cup represents a great opportunity for Women´s Rugby!

The Rugby World Cup 2021 has begun and has already broken the world record for attendance at a women’s Rugby World Cup. The opening match day at Eden Park last Saturday was sold out. The 50,000-capacity venue hosted the most attended women’s Rugby World Cup matchday ever. Additionally, Saturday’s triple-header will be the first time in history that Eden Park has reached capacity for a women’s sports event in New Zealand.
Rugby WWC

In his participation at #SiSMasters, Alan Gilpin, the CEO of World Rugby, spoke about the relevance of the development and growth of Women´s Rugby: “One of our biggest growth opportunities without question is the women’s game. And how we grow women’s rugby has been the fastest growing part of our sport for a number of years.” 

Underpinned by World Rugby’s Women’s Plan 2021-25, a new Women in Rugby brand and the ‘Try and Stop Us’ campaign, female participation levels are at an all-time high with 2.7 million players globally. More than a quarter of the overall playing population is now female, and there has been a 28 per cent increase in registered players since 2017. Gilpin added: “I think we’ve seen a huge increase in interest in women’s rugby over the last 10 years. We, you know, we launched a specific women’s growth plan four years ago, five years ago now, and you know, are continuing to build on that.”

A third of the representatives on the World Rugby Council are now female, women are fully immersed in the key decisions being taken to ensure further growth in the future. This is a key part of World Rugby strategy, as Alan Gilpin told us: “We make sure we’ve got proper gender diversity in our own decision-making structures that allow us to help take advantage of that opportunity and ultimately commercialize women’s rugby effectively to invest more back into the growth of not just the women’s game, but the game as a whole.”

The institution knows the relevance of representation for girls and women worldwide; Gilpin said: “As we build that competitive depth in the women’s game, it’s going to become an ever more aspirational, inspirational part of what we do. So the competition pillar is really important. That’s a key driver, clearly of the participation pillar for us and making sure that we are providing again, great opportunities for girls around the world.”

2022 has been an amazing and positive year for women´s sports, mainly with the successfully UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 and the first edition of the Tour de France Femmes. Now is the Women’s Rugby World Cup turn to make a statement and change the game forever. 

If you want to know more about this Strategic Plan and what Alan Gilpin is doing at World Rugby, listen to the podcast here:


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