Women have been playing rugby since the late 1800s, when the first recorded games were played in England and Wales. The sport quickly gained popularity among women in other countries, and by the early 1900s there were women’s rugby teams all over the world.
The first international women’s rugby match was played in 1932 between England and Wales, and Women’s International Rugby (WIR) was founded in 1974. The Women’s Rugby World Cup was first held in 1991 and is currently contested every four years.
As of 2021, there are approximately 3 million women and girls playing rugby union worldwide. In England alone, there are over 1,000 women’s rugby clubs with over 30,000 registered players.
The future of women’s rugby looks bright, with the sport set to make its debut at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. With more countries than ever before competing at the highest level, it is sure to be an exciting and historic event.
Much like in football, Team USA men’s rugby team is far overshadowed by the Women’s team who currently sit 5th in the world rankings whilst the men languish in 17th. It is perhaps the lack of genuine interest in women’s American football that creates these gaps, with the cream of the American men’s crop choosing the NFL over other sporting endeavours.
The history of the Women’s Rugby World Cup is one of growth and success. The first tournament was held in 1991, with twelve teams competing. The most recent tournament, in 2017, featured twenty-four teams from all over the world.
The Women’s Rugby World Cup is a valuable platform for the development of women’s rugby. It provides an opportunity for the best players in the world to come together and compete at the highest level. It also helps to grow the game of rugby union, and to increase its appeal to women and girls around the world.
The most recent tournament is due to being in October 2022, having been postponed from 2021 due to the covid pandemic. The tournament will be held in New Zealand, the home of the most successful women’s team of all time. That said, New Zealand head in to the tournament 2nd in the world rankings behind England who recently extended their lead at the top of the rankings thanks to a fourth straight six nations win and a grand slam victory over 3rd placed France.
It’s looking like things will get quite tasty down in New Zealand come October! Be sure to check out all the latest Rugby World Cup News as it unfolds.