World Rugby launches global campaign to boost women's game

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumo says figures show more than 40 percent of rugby's 400 million fan base is female. — AFP

DUBLIN — World Rugby launched a global campaign to boost women's rugby on Tuesday, with chairman Bill Beaumont saying it was the biggest growth area in the game.

Participation levels are at an all-time high with 2.7 million players globally – making up more than a quarter of the global playing population – and a 28 percent increase in registered players since 2017.

World Rugby figures show more than 40 percent of rugby's 400 million fan base is female.

The "Try and Stop Us" campaign, launched in Dublin, is aimed at driving increased participation and engagement among fans, players and investors in the women's game.

It uses stories from 15 women and girls involved in rugby at all levels of the game.

"We firmly believe that the development of women in rugby is the single greatest opportunity for our sport to grow in the next decade," said former England captain Beaumont in a World Rugby statement.

"Not only is women's rugby experiencing unprecedented growth around the world but we are well on the way to realizing our vision of a more equitable game for all through the implementation of our ambitious strategic women's action plan, which is having a transformational effect on all areas of the game," he added.

"From the highest levels of the sport's governance to grassroots' participation, we are wholly committed to driving gender-balance and ensuring that women have equal opportunities both on and off the field." — AFP