Rugby Union - Women's Rugby Union

Women's Rugby Union

Records of women's rugby football go back to the late 19th century, with the first documented source being Emily Valentine's writings, stating that she set up a rugby team in Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, Ireland in 1887. Although there are reports of early women's matches in New Zealand and France, one of the first notable games to prove primary evidence was the 1917 war-time encounter between Cardiff Ladies and Newport Ladies; a photo of which shows the Cardiff team before the match at the Cardiff Arms Park. In the past 30 years the game has grown in popularity among female athletes, and, according to the IRB, is now played in over 100 countries.

The English based Women's Rugby Football Union (WRFU), responsible for women's rugby in England, Scotland Ireland and Wales, was founded in 1983, and is the oldest formally organised national governing body for women's rugby. This was replaced in 1994 by the Rugby Football Union for Women (RFUW) in England with each of the other Home Nations governing their own countries. The premier international competition in rugby union for women is the Women's Rugby World Cup, first held in 1991. Since 1994 it has been held every four years.

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