England Women have attracted record crowds during this 2017/18 international rugby season, with overall attendance up 20% on average compared to the previous Old Mutual Wealth and Six Nations campaigns.
Sky Sports viewing figures also saw a dramatic rise, with a 92% year-on-year increase for England Women Six Nations fixtures.
Allianz Park hosted England Women for the first time in November 2017, kicking off the Old Mutual Wealth Series against Canada. The home of Saracens drew over 2,500 supporters to watch England start their autumn series with an emphatic 79-5 win over the visitors, before the Red Roses went on to complete a series whitewash at The Stoop and Twickenham Stadium. Over 12,000 staying to watch the final Test after England men v Samoa.
The Red Roses’ opening 2018 Six Nations fixture against Wales at Harlequins’ Stoop saw over 4,000 spectators cheer the home side to an eight-try victory, including a brilliant solo effort by Ellie Kildunne."Women’s rugby continues to grow at an impressive rate."
The closing game of the 2018 Six Nations was the first time women’s international rugby had been played in Coventry and attracted over 7,300 supporters to the Ricoh Arena as England defeated Ireland 33-11 to finish second in the table.
“These figures are very encouraging and reinforce our ongoing commitment to expanding the Red Roses’ profile and audience," said Rugby Football Union Chief Executive Officer Steve Brown.
"Women’s rugby continues to grow at an impressive rate and England Women’s success as a team and as ambassadors for the sport certainly sees them acting as inspirational role models.
“I’d like to thank Sky Sports for their continued support of the England Women team. Undoubtedly their platform and its reach has played a central role in helping to grow the audience for our international side. Thanks is also due to our host venues who have provided excellent facilities for both England Women and U20s in addition to all their promotional efforts.
“There is, of course, more to be done and we remain committed to growing the women’s game both at a grassroots and elite level."