Harlequins Ladies aim to create history again when they face Gloucester Hartpury at The Stoop on 30th March.
Following the success of last year’s record-breaking attempt to have the highest ever attendance for a women’s Club match in the UK, Harlequins today launches The Game Changer: an annual celebration of the women’s game at The Stoop.
Last March Harlequins attracted over four and half thousand spectators to its home for the Ladies match against rivals Richmond FC, setting an attendance record for a women’s match in this country. Now the Club has set its sights on breaking that record again with its fixture against Gloucester Hartpury on Saturday 30th March.
Harlequins has led the way in promoting women’s rugby in this country and The Game Changer is another bold innovation from the Club as it continues to seek parity for the women’s game in the sport.
The Game Changer will be the platform where ‘Heroes make History’ and is the perfect stage to showcase the heroic exploits of Harlequins Ladies’ players and coaches both on and off the field. On top of a gruelling and intense playing schedule, the Club’s players are firefighters, soldiers, teachers and business-leaders, while Karen Findlay, the squad’s co-Head Coach, is a chief inspector with the Metropolitan Police. Together, through their incredible dedication, they are helping change the sporting landscape.
Findlay said: “We continue to set the bar high at Harlequins with our ambition for women’s rugby and the Club have been fantastic in empowering the team and everyone connected with it as we go from strength to strength.
“Our players are able to train using the same facilities as the men with the same access to the support staff and the results are there for all to see.
“Last year’s record attempt at the Richmond match was another courageous show of intent from everyone at the Club and we did it. Now we want even more people to come and see what we are capable of at The Game Changer.
“The level of dedication our players continue to show is truly immense, and I believe their heroics really will build a legacy and change the sport forever.
“We love playing at The Stoop and we cannot wait to be back there in front of Harlequins’ supporters who know so much about the game and give us unbelievable backing.”
Shaunagh Brown, one of Findlay’s ‘heroes’ who holds down a day job as a firefighter and has represented her country as a hammer thrower at the Commonwealth Games as well as in an England rugby jersey, said: “I am honoured just to be a part of this team.
“The commitment that Harlequins has made to growing women’s rugby in this country has been incredible, and The Game Changer is another giant step in the right direction. I am incredibly proud to be a part of this Club and all it is doing to lead the game of women’s rugby.”
“I was lucky enough to be a part of last year’s amazing match against Richmond at The Stoop where the atmosphere was just incredible, and I am so excited for the opportunity to be back there this year.”
Taking place at the conclusion of the 2019 Natwest Six Nations championship, the Club’s array of international talent will be on show, including Red Roses stars Brown, Abbie Scott, Rachael Burford, Leanne Riley, and Vickii Cornborough, National Academy players Ellie Green and Chloe Edwards, Ireland Prop Leah Lyons, Scotland forwards Jade Konkel and Deborah McCormack, and US international Kristine Sommer.
The Game Changer is included in the 2018/19 Harlequins Membership, but must be claimed beforehand. For non-members, tickets cost £10 for Adults and £5 for Juniors and can be purchased at tickets.quins.co.uk