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Six Nations Rugby Introduces First Ever U-20 Women’s Summer Series

Six Nations Rugby Introduces First Ever U-20 Women’s Summer Series

Ireland Under-20 scrum half Jade Gaffney is pictured during a recent challenge match against Wicklow ©INPHO/Tom Maher

Six Nations Rugby is introducing the first of its kind Under-20 Six Nations Women’s Summer Series, which will debut this July, in Parma, Italy.

Starting on July 4, and running until July 14, the inaugural development competition will feature all Six Nations teams, and include three competitive match days, designed to offer a new opportunity for international rugby experience.

The Women’s Summer Series is intended to offer players a vital new opportunity to graduate through the rugby development pathway, from the Under-18 level.

For those players who may have missed the Under-18 entry point onto the rugby pathway, the Women’s Summer Series opens another route to international rugby.

Similar to the U-18 Six Nations Festivals, each Union will involve coaches and match officials from their respective nation, to ensure it is not only the players that are offered the opportunity to gain vital experience and develop alongside each other.

The format of the Women’s Summer Series will see three match days, on July 4, 9, and 14, with teams made up of predominately U-20 players, but with each Union able to select up to three U-23 players per matchday squad.

Commenting on the introduction of the new Six Nations Women’s Summer Series, Julie Paterson, Chief of Rugby at Six Nations Rugby, said:

The development pathway is an essential part of the strategy and commitment of Six Nations Rugby, and the six Unions and Federations, to proactively support the creation and growth of opportunities in the Women’s game.

“The ability for the players, coaches, and match officials to gain rugby experience and exposure to a structured international pathway are vitals elements of the mission to motivate the long term, sustainable development of the Women’s game.

“Introducing the Women’s Summer Series delivers on this mission and commitment. Over the last three years, the U-18 Women’s Festivals have provided a competitive and successful development platform.

“We are now able to offer the next phase for players, coaches, and match officials to graduate to, and continue to gain experience.

“Performances from England and France in the senior Women’s Six Nations have highlighted the benefit a successful development infrastructure, and thriving domestic club game, can accelerate the develop of players.

“The combination of the Under-18 Festivals, and now the Women’s Summer Series, provides an opportunity for rugby experience to be gained for the benefit of all six Unions and Federations. With energy and enthusiasm, coupled with patience and support, the pathway will feed through to the elite women’s game.

“Thanks needs to be given to the Italian Federation, who previously hosted a Men’s Summer Series, and will once again put on an incredible experience for everyone involved in the Women’s event this July.

“Credit needs to be shared across all six Unions and Federations for the continued collaboration to bring to life a new and ambitious development platform for the sport.”

The Six Nations Women’s Summer Series will be available to fans all over the world, via exclusive coverage on the Six Nations Rugby YouTube channels, with supporting coverage across dedicated Under-20 Six Nations social media channels.


England v Ireland, Thursday, July 4, kick off 6.30pm local time/5.30pm Irish time
Ireland v Italy, Tuesday, July 9, kick off 10am local time/9am Irish time
Ireland v Scotland, Sunday, July 14, kick off 10am local time/9am Irish time