The IRFU today announced an unprecedented and welcome surge in female interest in its summer Volkswagen Tag rugby programme following the Grand Slam success of its Women’s team, which included Nora Stapleton who began her rugby career playing Tag.
More than 13,000 players will play the unisex, non-contact variation of rugby at over 20 venues across Ireland.
Before the Six Nations success registrations were dominated by male participants (68% male). However, since the Women’s historic achievements, registrations are now almost evenly split, for the first time.
The IRFU are hoping that the success and interest in its Tag programme will result in greater female participation in the rugby in the long-term.
The IRFU’s Stephen McNamara said: “We have been blown away by the response to the Women’s Six Nations win, which has resulted in a surge of female interest for our summer Volkswagen Tag programme, which will be played by over 13,000 people at over 20 venues and events nationwide.
“Tag is a fantastic introduction to rugby as it is a non-contact form of the game which allows people to sample just how much fun rugby is, and get in shape.”
Grand Slam winner Nora Stapleton, the Ireland Women’s out-half, said: “Like a lot of girls on the Ireland team my introduction to rugby was through Tag, having been asked to make up the numbers on a friend’s team.
“Having played GAA all my life I was a little unsure but I instantly loved it and have never looked back.
“I am delighted that our Grand Slam success has inspired more girls to give Tag rugby a go and I know a lot of girls will continue with a 15 a-side or Sevens teams when the season starts up again.
“Tag is great fun and a great way to get fit. If I wasn’t busy preparing for our defence of the Six Nations I would be out there playing Tag again this summer.”