In the beginning there was rugby for the boys, in the Seventies women played it for fun, and in 1983 women's rugby officially arrived with the affiliation of 12 all-female sides to the RFU. Participation has grown 30-fold since then - time to take these ladies seriously.
How to do it
There are no girlie concessions. women's rugby rules are identical to men's.
One of the fastest-growing women's sports. There are around 300 women's rugby clubs in the UK, with 220 in England alone. Around 10,000 women and an increasing number of girls play in the UK. Sexes are segregated from 12 years old.
What you should look like
Brian Moore and Rob Andrew are hardly identical, are they? In the same way, and contrary to popular belief, female rugby players are big on strength and fitness, not necessarily as big as beefcakes.
Not yet. Media attention has been too small for a Sally Gunnell of the rugby world to emerge.
Where to do it
Most women's teams are linked to men's clubs (often on inferior or badly lit pitches) or aligned to college and university teams.
Contact for courses
The SRFU in Scotland looks after women's rugby. In England the RFUW looks after itself: contact 01635 278177 or 01234 261521 for details of clubs and training. In Wales contact the WWRU (01633 220249); in Ireland the IWRU (01 288 9146). Rather than signing up for courses you should pitch up at a club and muck in. There are also schemes for coach and referee training.
What to say
'Wrap em up man'; 'You're in for a boshing'; 'Give it some big welly.'
"Women's rugby." Guardian [London, England] 11 Oct. 1996