World Rugby has launched a new global campaign ‘Try and Stop Us’ to increase participation in the women’s game. More girls have started playing rugby than boys in the past two years. The number of registered female players has risen by 28% to 2.7 million since 2017.
“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 World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.
The campaign includes the stories of 15 women and girls involved in rugby at all levels from around the world. World Rugby women’s advisory committee chairman Serge Simon says rugby is “one of the world’s fastest-growing team sports” and women are at the “heart of the success story”.
World Rugby has also launched a website to promote the campaign. Grand Slam winners England became the first 15-a-side professional women’s team on 1 January when the Rugby Football Union (RFU) awarded 28 full-time contracts, along with seven elite player squad agreements.
In August 2018, the RFU awarded 17 full-time England women’s sevens contracts for the 2018-19 season.