Women’s rugby going from strength to strength
On Valentine's Day back in February 1993, Scotland and Ireland competed in their first-ever international women's fixture at Raeburn Place, with, Scotland recording a 10-0 victory. Thirty years later, the game is reaching new heights as the popularity and visibility of the sport continues to grow.
The trailblazing 1993 team was celebrated at BT Murrayfield last month, and women’s rugby attendance records across the world are being broken left, right and centre. Women’s rugby is becoming ever more popular as fans are enjoying the open and expansive attacking play that is on display.
Scotland achieved an all-time high attendance record in last year’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations, and have since had a massive year, including their first World Cup in twelve years. They hope to beat the record again this April at the DAM Health Stadium, which the squad are making their home.
Just this month, Harlequins—home to Scotland forwards Jade Konkel-Roberts and Sarah Bonar, as well as new back on the block, Beth Blacklock—have broken the world record for attendance at a women’s club rugby match. 15,420 fans turned up to watch them take on Exeter Chiefs.
On the other side of the world, 42,579 fans gathered in New Zealand to watch their home team win the Rugby World Cup near the end of last year.
This is a world record that will be broken in the final game of this TikTok Women’s Six Nations. England v France is taking place at Twickenham, and as of 29 March, the stadium’s first ever stand-alone women’s fixture has sold more than the World Cup final did!
England v Scotland may well also be in a bigger stadium in two years. Kingston Park in Newcastle, home of the Falcons, sold out for the opening fixture of Scotland’s campaign! There were over 10,000 fans in attendance, including plenty of away support for the Scots.
Wales women also hit an attendance record at the weekend, with almost 5,000 spectators watching their performance against Ireland, where they won 31-5.
The Scotland team, along with women playing for clubs and countries around the world, are proving that women’s rugby is just as passionate, entertaining and skillful as men’s—and it’s certainly worth watching.
The 1993 Scotland team