Portas Consulting
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Paving the Pathway to Professionalisation for the Women’s Game

We helped the global federation for rugby understand how to shape a successful and sustainable future for women’s rugby

The challenge…

Women’s rugby has experienced unprecedent growth – bringing both opportunities and challenges. There is a lack of competitive balance at the top. Maturing and developing unions are unclear on how, and when, to professionalise the women’s game. Accelerating the professional development of women’s rugby is the foremost strategic priority for World Rugby.

To start, they had to understand the current landscape.

The approach…

We conducted in-depth surveys and interviews across 23 unions, providing more than 3000 data points to understand the current situation, the level of development today, and the barriers and challenges unions are facing.

Next, we analysed what worked for other sports, and potential pitfalls in professional development of the sport, based on a review of comparable benchmarks. We looked at more than 20 leading organisations, consulting with 15 leaders from other sports and codes.

The impact…

Based on the data, we developed a framework and guide for World Rugby and its unions to develop and deliver women’s rugby.

World Rugby now has the knowledge, insight and understanding to drive professionalisation of the women’s game. They can align all stakeholders to a shared vision and equip unions with practical steps to achieve the vision.

This work gave World Rugby unprecedented insight into the global landscape of Women’s Rugby. They acquired a deep understanding of the needs and challenges within the entire rugby ecosystem. This has given them vision, insight, and a clear pathway to professionalisation.