How Women's Rugby Has Grown Ahead Of The TikTok Six Nations Final
England v Ireland - TikTok Women's Six Nations
Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

How Women's Rugby Has Grown Ahead Of The TikTok Six Nations Final

Manon Lamy April 30, 2022

Ahead of the final round of the Women’s Six Nations tournament, it can’t be denied that women’s rugby has had amazing growth over the last few years. And this year seems to be a landmark year for the women teams.

A move away from the men?

As hard as it might be to believe the women’s six nations tournament has been running since 1996. However, it’s not until recent years that they have been payed more attention. And that might be thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the pandemic the women’s games were played at the same time as the men’s. However, not many people were supporting the games.

In 2020, the tournament had to be interrupted due to the pandemic but that only seemed to have a positive effect on the tournament. The 2021 tournament was pushed to the early spring and was an undeniable success. It seems that all it took to make people interested in women’s rugby was a worldwide pandemic.

Moving the tournament to April has given the games a breath of fresh air and extra well deserved publicity.

After all these years of being linked to the men’s tournament, but not getting any real recognition, the women are finally getting the attention they deserve. They now have their own permanent window in the sporting agenda.

2022: A landmark year

There is no denying that this years tournament is truly a special one. The game in Bayonne that will see France and England fight for the Grand Slam, has been sold out for over a month. The Stade Jean Dauger will be filled with 10,600 supporters on Sunday, April 30.

French supporters will be eager to see if the women can also bring home the grand slam title like the men did a few months back. Around 2,500 supporters came out to watch them play in Cardiff against Wales just last Friday.

And England have set two record attendances at their home games this year. A record 15,836 supporters came to the support the English Roses during their game against Ireland. A game where they beat the Irish ladies 69-0.

As part of increasing the publicity of the tournament, the Stade Ernest Wallon in Toulouse welcomed 15000 supporters. Whilst the tournament invited many local women’s clubs, there is no doubt that women’s rugby is becoming more and more popular.

A new sponsor?

The tournament also has an unlikely new sponsor and the actual name of the Women’s Six Nations tournament is the TikTok Women’s Six Nations.

The global entertainment platform TikTok has come through as the title sponsor of the event. That has brought a lot of momentum to the tournament. It has allowed a greater audience, new and old, to appreciate the sport and the women who take part. It has also made people engage with the sport on a whole new level.

With the final games this weekend, on what the media is calling the first Super Saturday, we can only wait to see what the total viewership, live and on TV, will be. Dates for the 2023 tournament are set to be announced in June.

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Manon is a freelance journalist for Freshered. She joined Freshered in February 2022 where she is still working today. As a freelance journalist she enjoys covering everything from international politics to Formula 1 and travelling. Manon is currently in her final year of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham after returning from a year abroad in Vienna, Austria. She hopes to continue her studies in Journalism.