27 August 2019

Former England rugby captain not satisfied with gender neutral World Cup branding

Ex-England rugby captain Catherine Spencer has criticised the decision to drop the "Women's" title from the World Cup in a move towards gender-neutral branding.

It was announced last week that World Rugby would become the first sports federation to make a change and drop gender titles from future World Cups.

Spencer, capped 63 times for her country, said: “We have been fighting for years to promote women’s rugby and to tell the world it is OK to be a woman and play rugby.

“By renaming the Women’s World Cup, I think we have lost that identity of celebrating women’s rugby.”

She captained the Roses during the 2010 World Cup and has been part of eight Six Nations competitions.

“There has been so much growth over the past year or two but I feel that a lot of that is being undone by taking away the word ‘Women’s’. “I think adding ‘Men’s’ to their World Cup would be better,” she added.

The first competition to be affected will be the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Unintentional gender bias in sport is an ongoing issue. As a global sporting federation, we need to be leading from the front on the issue of equality.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox