Female participation levels in rugby are at an all-time high, with 2.7 million players globally, however this is still over 40% less than the 4.6 million male players globally1. Royal London, the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment company announced recently that they would become ‘Principal Partner’ of the Women’s Lions Programme and fund a study which will examine whether a Lions women’s team could be formed.
Commenting on this opportunity to level the playing field in rugby, Maggie Alphonsi, Women’s Rugby World Cup winner, said:
“Royal London’s support for women’s rugby brings the possibility of a level playing field. Royal London’s support will bring visible change, breaking barriers and giving so many women and girls who are passionate about rugby so many more options.”
Emily Scarratt, England Women’s Rugby Vice captain, added:
“As a player you want to test yourself at the highest level, and the Lions embodies this. The Lions is an iconic team within rugby and the pinnacle for many men’s players, so to be talking about the potential of a Women’s Lions team is incredible. The feasibility study is the first step in making that dream a reality, but the simple fact that it is being undertaken shows the ever growing support for women’s rugby.”
Shaunagh Brown, England Women’s Rugby player, commented:
“The commitment from Royal London to shine a spotlight on women’s rugby is a huge step in the right direction. The feasibility study, to see if a Women’s Lions team is possible, will encourage positive conversations about how the Women’s game can be supported and developed. I am excited to see a brand of Royal London’s standing take this challenge.”
Commenting on the partnership, Susie Logan, Chief Marketing Officer at Royal London said:
“By investing in the future of women’s sport, Royal London aims to help women and girls feel empowered to follow their dreams and showcase their talents at the same level as men are able to now.”
Notes to Editors
1. 2018 figures from http://www.world.rugby.org, the governing body of Rugby Union.
About Royal London
Royal London is the largest mutual life insurance, pensions and investment company in the UK, with assets under management of £148 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 4,412 employees. Figures quoted are as at 31 December 2020.