Shaunagh Brown: Lions Women’s Series will light fire under home nations stars

Brown believes the four nations will be stronger together following the announcement of the Howden British and Irish Lions Women’s Series in 2027 [more]

Shaunagh Brown: Lions Women’s Series will light fire under home nations stars

It is in Red Roses legend Shaunagh Brown’s nature to always strive for more and she believes the Howden British and Irish Lions Women’s Series will light a fire under the current generation of home nations stars.

The 33-year-old’s insight was instrumental in the Lions Women’s feasibility study, funded by Founding Partners Royal London, which proved a Lions Women’s Series will be sustainable for all stakeholders.

The September 2027 Tour is expected to draw in sold-out crowds in New Zealand while already piquing media interest across the globe.

Brown enjoyed the touring aspect of life as an England player and insisted a Lions Women’s Tour will feed a strong appetite for women’s rugby in Great Britain and Ireland.

“It’s huge,” she said. “There is something in all of our lives that we always wanted to achieve, whether that was playing for England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales. For players now to be given more is brilliant.

“Three or four years ago we first sat down and here we are announcing that, in 2027, British and Irish Lions are going to have a women’s team.

“It provides another goal to achieve and aim for and it just keeps that fire alive – it’s an elite athlete disease, you always want more.

“It is the most important thing there is now and it’s only going to grow.

“People are seeing British and Irish Lions, Royal London, Howden all coming together. That’s the future of the game and we are the future of the game as women.”

Royal London has also pledged to invest in player development through the delivery of an elite players’ Pathways Funding grant as continuing to grow pathways in the build-up to 2027 remains a priority.

For former internationals such as Niamh Briggs and Elinor Snowsill, who each now work in a coaching capacity for Ireland and Wales respectively, support is welcome news for the development of all four nations’ pathways.

Brown emphasised the most rewarding part of the Lions Women’s announcement is the community benefit to generations of players and fans, who will go on to be a part of Lions history in years to come.

“I love playing rugby and I love being a rugby player but it’s everything else that comes with it,” she said

“It’s the off-pitch stuff, it’s the community value, it’s the person that grows off the pitch, who becomes a better person on the pitch.

“Everything that makes us stronger is because we’re together and I always feel a lot stronger being part of Great Britain and Ireland.

“The thought of so many people who are not even playing rugby yet having the chance to represent Great Britain and Ireland is brilliant.

“Here we are, matchday minus three and a half years.”

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