Sun. Oct 24th, 2021

Great strides have been made but the financial side is still lagging way behind the men’s game and solutions are needed

On the face of it women’s rugby has entered a brave new world. Almost everywhere you look there are emerging role models, from pioneering referees and executives to talented players eager to make it at the highest level. When England’s impressive captain, Sarah Hunter, spoke last week about the 2022 World Cup being a potential game-changer for her sport she did so fully aware of the vast leaps already taken over the past decade.

For anyone who loves the game it should be great news that, finally, rugby has made genuine advances on inclusivity. Double-header club fixtures alongside the men, as at Wasps in Coventry on Sunday, are now fashionable and the athleticism of the best women players compares favourably with some of their perspiring male counterparts. The promotional kudos and family vibe to be had from a successful women’s team is increasingly prized. And yet.

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