The 2018 Warrior Camps are run until January 28th with 185 rugby taster sessions taking place at clubs nationwide. The 2018 campaign theme is ‘New Year, New You’, encouraging women to kick start their fitness routine for the new year and challenge themselves to take up a new sport.

England international Katy Daley-Mclean commented, “It can be hard to stay motivated to get fit during winter. Team sports, such as rugby, provide support and encouragement, making fitness fun and social. The Warrior Camps give women the opportunity to try rugby, often for the first time, and it’s fantastic to see so many feeling inspired to take up rugby.”

Since its initial launch, over 10,500 women have attended Warrior Camps nationwide; and of those women, 3,500 had never picked up a rugby ball before. The number of camps available to women has continued to grow to meet demand and the influx of players saw 41 new female contact rugby club teams established in 2017.

Steve Grainger, RFU Rugby Development Director, said: “Female participation in rugby has seen unparalleled levels of growth in recent years, with a massive 215% increase since 2013. It’s now one of the fastest growing team sports for women in England.”

“As part of the 2017-21 funding agreement with Sport England and our new Women and Girls’ Action Plan, the RFU is looking to significantly expand the number of women and girls participating in grassroots rugby across England, and the Warrior Camps are instrumental in supporting this growth.”

The Inner Warrior campaign aims to encourage more women and girls to play contact rugby, teaching participants key introductory skills and drills for rugby within a non-committal, social and fun environment.

The January Warrior Camps launched with a continuation of the 2017 brand creative that shows everyday women from various walks of life, bursting out of their work ‘uniforms’ into their rugby training kit, metaphorically freeing their inner warrior. An England Rugby digital campaign also kicked off, encouraging the public to express their inner alpha spirit and ‘Show Their Warrior Faces’ on social media.

After finding herself isolated and struggling with mental health issues, 33-year-old Alex Muller-Nicholson decided to do something completely out of her comfort zone. She went along to her local rugby club. This is her story.