The British & Irish Lions is pleased to announce that a feasibility study into the possibility of holding a Lions women’s tour has been completed with positive initial findings.
The study investigated key aspects of creating a Lions women’s tour with a consultation process exploring rugby, brand, commercial, financial, spectator, logistical and scheduling considerations. The feasibility study was funded by Royal London, the inaugural ‘Principal Partner’ of the Lions women’s programme and was undertaken by sports marketing agency Two Circles.
The British & Irish Lions and its constituent unions are now working through a number of considerations including the potential structure and timing of a tour.
Based on the outcome of these discussions and critical considerations being successfully addressed, a final decision can be made on whether the proposed tour can proceed.
Ben Calveley, Chief Executive Officer, The British & Irish Lions said: “It is extremely positive that a British & Irish Lions women’s tour is possible in the future. While there is much to be considered, we are committed to taking the findings of this feasibility study and working closely with our unions as well as other stakeholders in the coming months.
“I would like to thank World Rugby, our four unions from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales for their ongoing support. There has been a strong level of collaboration since the beginning of this process, and we are all united behind exploring this project fully.”
“I would also like to thank our Principal Partner, Royal London, for their continued support and Two Circles, for conducting the feasibility study.”
Ieuan Evans, British & Irish Lion, Chairman of the Lions Board, member of the WRU Board and Chair of the Lions Women’s Steering Group, said: “We are really encouraged by the initial findings of this feasibility study. We know there is significant support for the concept of creating a Lions women’s team and this is an important step along the way to exploring how that can be made a reality - great progress has been made to this point and a lot of work remains to be done.”
Susie Logan, Group Chief Marketing Officer at Royal London, said: “Through our partnership with The British & Irish Lions, our aim is to make a positive impact on women’s rugby and continue the growth and success story. The findings of the feasibility study are an extremely important initial step towards creating a really compelling Lions women’s tour and as Principal Partner of the Lions women’s programme, we are really excited to develop this concept further.”
The British & Irish Lions
Notes to editors
The Lions Women’s Feasibility Study Steering Group members included:
Ieuan Evans MBE (Chair) – British & Irish Lion, Chairman of The British & Irish Lions Board, Chair of the WRU Board
Ben Calveley – Chief Executive Officer, The British & Irish Lions
Susie Logan – Group Chief Marketing Officer, Royal London
Joanna Manning Cooper – Group Director of Corporate Affairs, Sky
Max Taylor – Consumer Director, Vodafone
Simon Rowe – VP of Global Sports Marketing, Pentland Brands
Sue Day MBE – RFU Chief Operating & Financial Officer, RFU Board
David Nucifora – Performance Director, IRFU
Gemma Fay – Head of Girls’ and Women’s Strategy, Scottish Rugby
Hannah John – Women’s High-Performance Lead (Acting), WRU
Nicky Ponsford – Women’s High-Performance Manager, World Rugby
Shaunagh Brown – English Rugby International
Niamh Briggs – Irish Rugby International
The views expressed are those of the author at the date of publication unless otherwise indicated, which are subject to change, and is not investment advice.