More than 100 years after the foundation of the Rugby Football Union, another pioneering group of individuals sparked a revolution that would permanently change the face of rugby union in Britain…
On 4th February 1984, a group of women met at University College London to discuss the formation of a 'Women's Rugby Union Association'. They represented 12 clubs and universities who had been actively developing women's rugby in England since the late 1970s. At the conclusion of their meeting, the Women's Rugby Football Union (WRFU) was born.
A second meeting was held on 4th May before which Acting Secretary, Sheila Welsh, had visited the RFU Secretary, Bob Weighill, to discuss their proposal. Weighill informed Welsh that the RFU had no objections and a respectful, mutually supportive relationship was initiated.
The WRFU didn't just represent English rugby but also Welsh and Irish. So it was that in 1986, international rugby took root for the first time on British soil with a match at Richmond between Great Britain and France. The following year the Red Roses were ready to bloom, taking on and defeating Wales at Pontypool Park.