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Lyons and Filopon front World Rugby’s new campaign

Lyons and Filopon front World Rugby’s new campaign

Women’s Six Nations stars Maelle Filopon and Leah Lyons are taking the lead in World Rugby’s move to inspire the next generation of female rugby players.

The pair are two of 15 ambassadors for the organisation’s ‘Try and Stop Us’ campaign, which looks to fan the ever-growing flames of participation in the women’s game, with an increase of engagement also on the agenda for the newly formed plan.

Born out of the success of World Rugby’s Accelerating the global development of women in rugby 2017-25scheme, the new ‘Women in Rugby’ brand looks to spread rugby’s word to women and girls across the globe.

“We firmly believe that the development of women in rugby is the single greatest opportunity for our sport to grow in the next decade, which is why we are proud to share our exciting new brand identity,” said World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont.

“Not only is women’s rugby experiencing unprecedented growth around the world, but we are well on the way to realising our vision of a more equitable game for all through the implementation of our ambitious strategic women’s action plan, which is having a transformational effect on all areas of the game.

“From the highest levels of the sport’s governance to grassroots participation, we are wholly committed to driving gender-balance and ensuring that women have equal opportunities both on and off the field, driving increased involvement and engagement in the women’s game from fans, audiences, players and investors.”

With an estimated 2.7 million players globally, the number of women active in the sport has increased almost 30 per cent since 2017, while for a second year running more girls have got into rugby than boys: over 40 per cent of the sport’s 400 million global fans are female.

Adding to the grassroots success of the women’s game is the representation now present in the upper echelons of the sport: 17 of the World Rugby Council members are female, the largest ever contingent in the body.

And with a campaign that has garnered support not just in rugby, but from across the sporting community, World Rugby General Manager of Women’s Rugby Katie Sadleir believes that the organisation are breaking new ground.

“We are extremely pleased to share today’s significant milestone as we move further towards the full implementation of our 2017-25 strategic women’s plan and our vision to accelerate the growth and development of women in rugby around the world,” she said.

“Through the dedicated work of the Women’s Advisory Committee and across all aspects of the organisation, World Rugby is making swift progress towards the objective of gender balance and equal opportunities throughout the sport, both on and off the field of play.”