Female participation levels in rugby are at an all-time high, with 2.7 million players globally, however this is still over 40% less than the 4.6 million male players globally (2018 figures from www.world.rugby.org, the governing body of Rugby Union).
Royal London, the leading protection specialist in Ireland announced recently that they would become ‘Principal Partner’ of the Women’s Lions Programme and fund a study which will examine whether a Lions women’s team could be formed.
Claire Molloy, renowned Irish Women’s Rugby Union international player, shares the top 5 things a Women’s Lions team could bring to the game as a whole.
- An opportunity to define what a Women’s Lion is: “The Women’s game continues to grow on a global scale. The teams and championships are proving themselves to be more competitive each year. A Lions tour historically is the best of the best from the home unions, so for a Lions Women’s team to be realised would undoubtedly cast the players in the bracket of elite. This can help change perceptions, inspire more women to play rugby and ultimately help motivate growth on and off the pitch; writing a female led chapter in the history of the Lions.”
- A broader platform to showcase the sport: “The women’s game hasn’t had the same broadcast coverage of the men’s. The Lions brand, along with the support from brands like Royal London would give the best British and Irish players in the UK and Ireland the platform to showcase the game.”
- Better use of potential: “Women players currently get to a point where they hit a glass ceiling.”
- Increased professionalism: “To make the Lion’s Women’s team happen, we would need more great brands to come forward. More investment in the game means more women are paid to play, getting the support they need to play at their best.”
- More talent attracted into the game
Molloy adds: “Royal London’s support for women’s rugby makes me feel optimistic, as it could have a real impact on the women’s game as a whole.”
Commenting on the partnership, Susie Logan, Chief Marketing Officer at Royal London said:
“By investing in the future of women’s sport, Royal London aims to help women and girls feel empowered to follow their dreams and showcase their talents at the same level as men are able to now.”
Commenting on the recent announcement that the British & Irish Lions’ tour in South Africa will go ahead, Logan added:
“We welcome the announcement and look forward to the tour.”
Please see PDF of press release for topic sources (if relevant).
About Royal London:
Royal London has a history of protecting our policyholders and their families for over 190 years in Ireland, and we’re committed to continue to do so for a long time to come. Today we are owned by The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited – the largest financial life, pensions, and investments mutual company in the UK, with 4,300 people, providing around 8.6 million policies and more than €164.3 billion in Group funds under management. (Figures as at June 2020).
Royal London’s Irish office is based at 47-49 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.