Thursday, 24 August 2017

WRWC 2017: unmitigated success

It's only right and proper that it will be the best 2 teams - England and New Zealand - who will contest the Women's Rugby World Cup Final on Saturday, following the Red Roses' tense semi-final victory over the French on Tuesday and the Black Ferns' slightly more comfortable win against the USA.

Whatever the outcome - and for me the 2 finalists look very evenly matched - there's no doubt it has been a hugely successful tournament with sell-out crowds, plentiful live TV coverage via ITV4 and, following England's progress to the final, belated acknowledgement by the national news media. And with the Final being televised live on ITV's main channel on Saturday night there is now a fantastic opportunity for the women's game to reach out to new audiences.

Inevitably there have been some naysayers who, in forums and on social media, have been quick to point out the difference in standards between the men's and women's games but in my view such comparisons - between a game which has been fully professional for over 20 years and a game in which professionalism is very much in its infancy - are all rather pointless.

I just wish that people would simply enjoy international women's rugby for what it is - fast, skilful, dynamic, competitive and hugely compelling to watch.

And of course good luck to the Red Roses for the final 👍

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