England Rugby announces support for Onside campaign

  • The Onside campaign is aimed at supporting women and girls in sport 
  • Over 30,000 women and girls are now playing regular club rugby 

England Rugby has announced that it is partnering with the Women’s Sport Trust for their Onside campaign.

The campaign, a Women’s Sport Trust initiative, seed funded by Sport England, is aimed at engaging men and boys as role models to speak up and take action to support women and girls in sport.

England Rugby also announced today that over 30,000 women and girls are now regularly playing club rugby (double that of the number playing just four years ago), and England Rugby will work with the Women’s Sport Trust on Onside to utilise the support of the rugby community, particularly male players, to encourage support for women across the game.

“We’re delighted to partner with the Women’s Sport Trust on the Onside campaign, and to get more men involved in championing women’s rugby," said RFU Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Brown.

"From the success of the Red Roses to the growing participation of women and girls in the grassroots game, women are integral to our sport and ultimately, great rugby is great rugby to be enjoyed by all.”

Increasing women and girls’ participation in rugby is integral to the RFU’s overarching Strategic Plan and funding agreement with Sport England, and a new, four year women and girls action plan to drive participation was launched in November 2017.

The goals of the Onside campaign are closely linked with this and are as follows:

  • To engage men and boys as role models, actively and visibly supporting women’s sport
  • To increase the audience for women’s sport – including growth for particular teams, clubs, sports and brands
  • To generate positive messages that indirectly encourage women / girls to engage with sport
  • To drive more sponsorship into women’s sport through increased attention
  • To increase the media coverage of women’s sport through increased attention

“In recent years, England Rugby has taken significant steps to support the development of the women’s game, we are excited to partner with them on the Onside campaign to build on this, getting more men involved in championing women’s rugby, at every level," said Women’s Sport Trust Co-Founder and Joint CEO, Tammy Parlour. 

"We hope to see more male players, coaches, support staff and senior leaders publicly supporting the women’s game, making it clear that great rugby is great rugby whether it’s played by men or women.”