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10th Jul 2019

There has been a huge surge in the number of women playing rugby

World Rugby have reported a significant increase in the number of women playing the game with the sport’s governing body announcing that there has been a 28 percent rise in registered female players.

According to the World Rugby Year in Review 2018, there are 9.6 million players globally, including 2.7 million women, up 10 percent on the previous year.

There are now 581,000 registered female players across World Rugby’s member unions.

This is accompanied by a 38 percent increase in video views by women and the growth of the World Rugby and Rugby World Cup female audience on Twitter to more than 30 percent.

“2018 was another special year for rugby as we watched the sport continue to prosper and grow both on and off the field,” World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said.

“Within a total playing population of 9.6 million, it was fantastic to see our Get Into Rugby programme – run in partnership with unions and regions – continue to break participation records with over two million girls and boys worldwide getting involved for the second year in a row amid a growing global interest of 800 million people.

“As Rugby World Cup 2019 fast approaches, it was particularly pleasing to see our Impact Beyond programme surpassing all expectations in Asia in 2018, reaching its target of one million new participants in the region a full nine months ahead of schedule. With the tournament expected to be game-changing in every respect, the stage is now set for the most impactful Rugby World Cup ever.

“From a women’s rugby perspective, 2018 was a breakthrough year as we began implementation of our ground-breaking strategy to accelerate the development of women in rugby at all levels. Progress was evident with increased participation and engagement levels as well as in the governance of the sport, where we welcomed the first women onto World Rugby Council. We continue to strive for even greater parity in 2019.”

20×20 is an ambitious two-year long initiative to better promote and champion women in sport.

With the tagline of “if she can’t see it, she can’t be it,” the 20×20 movement has three targets to reach by 2020:

  • 20 percent more media coverage of women in sport
  • 20 percent more female participation
  • 20 percent more attendance at women’s competitions and events

And at Maximum Media, we’re proud that Her and SportsJOE is backing the 20×20 movement as official digital media partners.