Unions to benefit from pathway funding ahead of first women’s British and Irish Lions tour

The four unions that make up the British and Irish Lions will benefit from a £3m pathway funding grant to support the development of players and coaches ahead of the first women’s tour in 2027.

It was confirmed in January that the women’s Lions will take on world champions New Zealand in their inaugural three-Test series.

Founding partner Royal London, who funded a feasibility study for the concept, have now announced that England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland will receive funding via a “Levelling the Playing Field” grant.

The Black Ferns have won six of the nine women’s Rugby World Cup and will travel to England next summer hoping to retain their crown.

“Supporting the growth of the women’s game is a key strategic priority for The British & Irish Lions as it is for each of our constituent unions,” said Ben Calveley, chief executive of the British and Irish Lions.

“Royal London’s ‘Levelling the Playing Field’ grant represents a significant investment into the women’s game in the four Unions and will make a positive impact on women’s rugby. We look forward to working closely with them over the coming years as we build towards this historic tour in 2027.”

The Lions will take on the Black Ferns in 2027 (Getty Images)

The four unions will allocate their funds in different ways, with England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU) electing to further improve their pathway ‘Player Development Groups’, and the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) strengthening its women’s pathway coaching staff with five new members.

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) will host additional camps and matches at both under-18 and under-20 level as well as creating a programme to accelerate coach progression, while the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) plans to hire two new “Performance Pipeline” coaches.

The Lions will play a number of pre-Test fixtures in New Zealand ahead of their three-match encounter with the Black Ferns.

The tour will take place in September 2027 and not clash with the men’s World Cup which begins later that autumn.

  • For more: Elrisala website and for social networking, you can follow us on Facebook
  • Source of information and images “independent”

Related Articles

Back to top button