“My rugby dream is to play for the women’s Lions team against New Zealand” – Lucy Bull, 10. Every athlete works better when they have an overarching goal to work towards. The fact that these young girls are already setting their sights high on being in a Lions squad which doesn’t even exist, speaks volumes. Just imagine how many more young girls would have the same dream if the tour was officially announced.
We spoke to Freya Perry from @RugbyChargers1 & @OakdaleRFC about why she loves rugby, her rugby role model @joyce_jaz and what a women’s Lions tour would mean to her 🏉🦁@RoyalLondon pic.twitter.com/e0s1vRl2NV— Girls Rugby Club (@GirlsRugbyClub) September 16, 2021
Let’s take a moment here to talk about the women already involved at an elite level. This Lions team isn’t just for the young girls starting their rugby journeys, it’s also about the women who are already well into their rugby careers. To be chosen as part of the Lions tour is huge. You only have to look at the reactions from players who were not chosen this year to understand how much of an honour this really is. I spoke to England legend and current Girls Rugby Club advisory board member Rocky Clark about this. She said for players it would be the “Ultimate honour to represent the home nations and players would be over the moon to be selected.” Many Red Roses, such as Rocky, have been lucky enough to represent their country at the highest level. So, what is stopping us adding an extra level on top of that with a women’s Lions’ tour? Speaking on the format of the proposed tour, Rocky said: “Initially I’d tail it on to the men’s competition. You already have all the facilities, backing, fan base and opposition. It would be easy to do double headers.” She finished by remarking: “Great idea, the sooner the team is formed, the better.” The beauty of the women’s game being in its infancy is that we have an opportunity to carve out a game that works in our favour. We do not have to follow in the direct footsteps of the men’s game, we have the flexibility and opportunity to create something that works for us.
🦁 A women’s Lions team 👟 Side stepping 💪 & showing people that girls can be as tough as boysLucy Bull from @CheltTigersWRFC told us all about her rugby aspirations 🙌 pic.twitter.com/Wr3Skbpl9e — Girls Rugby Club (@GirlsRugbyClub) September 16, 2021
You only have to listen to the men’s rugby fans who have been crying out for a global rugby calendar for years, to no success, and then compare that to the new World Rugby WXV women’s competition announced earlier this year. Now, I am not saying that it’s all positives here in the women’s game, but we must acknowledge that we have the flexibility to pave a new road with this tournament. Every single ex-Lions player could probably tell you the history of the tournament right back to 1888, so how about we create a piece of history of our own? How brilliant would it be to look back in say 15 years-time and to be able to explain the in-depth history of the women’s Lions competition to our own daughters? To finish up, I will leave you with this from Frankie, a ten-year-old rugby fan: “How is it fair that the men get to travel all round the world and see new places when the women have to stay here. If the men are going anyway, why can’t they take the women too.” StellaView this post on Instagram