The history of women’s rugby: Growth in wartime years

Brendan Gallagher begins a new series charting the history of the women’s game

GIVEN that we don’t really know who invented rugby – and that the Webb Ellis story is essentially an agreed compromise –we have almost no chance of dating the start of women’s rugby.

What we do know, however, is that women enthusiasts, despite active discouragement from their menfolk for decades, have played a form of rugby much longer that you might imagine.
There are some reports of women being involved in – and then being banned from – annual Shrove Tuesday Football matches between villages in the Medieval...

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