Ieuan Evans to head up 13-strong women's Lions tour steering group
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.
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.”
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.
‘The reality of a women’s Lions tour is bogged down in the same issues we have been discussing for years’
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 15, 2021
“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.”
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
'The Lions was never an idea in the female rugby player's mind, until someone questioned its lack of existence. Previously, we all accepted that this was just a men’s thing' @RachaelBurf12 ??? on the opportunity a women's Lions tour offers #LionsRugbyhttps://t.co/l08VFyu7Nm
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 14, 2021
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