SOUTH Shields rugby superstar Katy Mclean wants fans to come and see how good women’s rugby is as she looks to build on a female sporting revolution.
England’ dreams of a first women’s RBS 6 Nations championship for three years may be all but over – but that won’t blunt the home edge tonight against Scotland at Darlington’s Northern Echo Arena.
Anyone who has not seen women’s rugby, get down to here and see for yourself.Katy Mclean
And Mclean, who skippered England to World Cup glory last year in France, hopes people will give it a try at the stadium she already graces as a star with Darlington Mowden Park.
“Anyone who has not seen women’s rugby, get down to here and see for yourself,” smiled the Shields-born star, who gave up her job as a teacher after lifting the world crown to become a full-time rugby player.
“That’s the starting point, you don’t necessarily have to be a fan of the sport, just come and watch and form your opinion.”
Women’s sport has grown in recent years in terms of profile and attainment.
“You have got have been living in a hole if you have not seen anything about women’s sport,” Mclean told the Gazette.
“It’s a hot topic at the moment, especially women’s team sports.
“2012 was a massive kick-start for women’s sport, in terms of individual athletes, Jess Ennis, Katt Grainger really started to put athletes on the map.
“On the back of that you had women’s cricket, netball, us winning the World Cup.
“With our match here, I would say ‘give it a chance, see what you think’.”
Fans look to be guaranteed a full-blown international encounter.
England have won one from three while the Scots have fared worse, with no points to date.
But Mclean expects a tough test from England’s oldest rivals.
“Scotland have not had the best results so far, but this fixture has such a massive history to it,” said the 29-year-old.
“The rivalry of England v Scotland is huge, it doesn’t really matter what’s gone on before this.
“Both teams will be very focused on this game.
“And with it being in the north there is a good chance people will come down from Scotland to watch.
“It will be a great night.”
Kick-off tonight is 7.35pm, with an U20s clash between England and Scotland starting proceedings at 5.30pm.