What’s the state of Women’s rugby in the North East?

It’s less than six months until the start of the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the excitement is starting to build. In total there have been over 5 million applications for tickets.

In the North East the only available tickets for the three matches at St James Park are £115 and £150 for Samoa vs Scotland.

So is the current excitement about the tournament which begins in September having any impact on women’s rugby?

Last year England women’s team won the Rugby World Cup in France, and won the BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year award.

A number of England’s squad including the Captain Kate Mclean play for Mowden Park, which has the site of a World Record attempt for the World’s Largest Haka, as well as England v Scotland women’s six nation’s which was watched by over 7,500 spectators.

Joanna Brown is a student at Teesside University and plays for Mowden Park rugby club.

She says the tournament will have a positive impact on women’s rugby.

She said: “I think that winning the World Cup was a massive boost in the first instance, I know a lot of my girls hadn’t even heard of Rugby before they came to this University, and the Men’s world cup gets so much more TV attention then the women’s world cup.”

“Hopefully some of the girls will watch it and think, oh I might give that a go”.

The sports student also added: “The best way for women to get into Rugby is to just look up their local club, see if they’ve got a girls or ladies squad or attend the University rugby training sessions.

Paul Geehan, the Director of Rugby at Sunderland University said:  “There are three league playing sides in Durham, with 30 players each will increase to 5 teams next year, and in Durham alone there are six sides through the different age levels.

“This has all happened in the last three years and with the numbers increasing the game will prosper”.

Heather Kerr, one of Joanna Brown’s teammates at Darlington,  said: “I think that people having the opportunity to support their home nation on home turf is always a massive deal  it means that the spectator part of the sport gets more accessible”.

“It means young girls or even adults can see quite how far the sport has come and what can be achieved”.

Womens Rugby article

Heather Kerr, one of six Mowden Park players in the 42-13 victory against Scotland in Darlington on March 13th

 

 

She also added about the world record attempt on the 25th March that: “Any event that publicises rugby and allows participation of those that are fans of rugby but not necessarily sportsmen or women is extremely important”.

Lee Truss, the Managing Director of Mowden Park said that: “I think that Women’s Rugby is really growing as a sport and I think that event’s like this (The Haka world record attempt) and the game that we had here (England v Scotland Women’s Six Nations) are a great way of growing the sport within the community”.

from Tside