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Ieuan Evans to head up 13-strong women's Lions tour steering group

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by PA)

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Ex-Lions and Wales winger Ieuan Evans will head up a 13-strong steering group tasked with teasing out the feasibility of staging a Lions women’s rugby tour. The study is being funded by Royal London, the inaugural principal partner of the women’s Lions programme, and they will provide guidance and expertise to a working group made up of experienced administrators from across professional rugby, business executives, as well as former international standard athletes.

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The primary responsibility of the newly formed group will be to initiate, oversee and contribute towards a feasibility study that will seek to ascertain whether a women’s Lions team could be formed. 

Evans said: “Women’s rugby is experiencing unprecedented growth around the world with participation levels continuing to increase every year. A women’s Lions team is a big opportunity for the women’s game and I’m looking forward to working with the steering group to assess its viability.”

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Ben Calveley, the Lions managing director, added: “We are excited to have put together such a stellar list of individuals who I know will add value to this project. I believe a women’s Lions team is a huge opportunity, but there are a number of challenges to consider when looking to create a successful women’s set-up. 

“Financial viability, suitable opposition and appropriate scheduling in the women’s rugby calendar will all need rigorous analysis, research and careful consideration. We are very grateful to be working with a purpose-driven organisation like Royal London on this initiative. 

“Our broader commercial family – including Sky, Vodafone and Canterbury – have also committed to provide their expertise and play an active role in the feasibility analysis.”

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WOMEN’S LIONS STEERING GROUP
Ieuan Evans (chair) – Ex-British and Irish Lions and current Lions board member
Ben Calveley – Managing director, the 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 – Head of global sports marketing, Canterbury
Sue Day MBE – Chief operating and financial officer, RFU and RFU board, Rugby Football Union
Anthony Eddy – Director of sevens and women’s Rugby, Irish Rugby Football Union
Gemma Fay – Head of girls and women’s strategy, Scottish Rugby
Hannah John – Women’s high-performance lead (Acting), Welsh Rugby Union
Nicky Ponsford – Women’s high-performance manager, World Rugby
Shaunagh Brown – Senior player, Harlequins and England
Niamh Briggs – Senior player, Munster and Ireland, club coach and police officer

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