Red Roses set to inspire the next generation of female rugby players

Mary Youlden
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Wednesday, October 6, 2021 - 12:59am

England’s Red Roses will take on New Zealand’s Black Ferns at Exeter’s Sandy Park at the end of the month in a fixture that could “inspire the next generation of female rugby players.”

England Women take on New Zealand in the first of their autumn internationals at Sandy Park on Sunday 31 October - kick-off 2.30pm. Tickets have already gone on sale.

It’s the first of a double-header against the Black Ferns who England then face in Northampton a week later before taking on Canada (14 November, Twickenham Stoop, London) and USA (21 November, Sixways, Worcester).

England are currently ranked first and New Zealand second in the world rankings.

Sandy Park is familiar territory for the Red Roses and has attracted bumper crowds in recent years. On their last visit in November 2019, a late Lydia Thompson try gave England a 17-15 win over France in front of 9,699 spectators.

The Six Nations match against Italy in March 2019 drew a-then record 10,545 attendance for an England Women ticketed home game outside of a Rugby World Cup.

Cllr Duncan Wood, Lead Councillor for Leisure and Physical Activity, said: “We are tremendously privileged to be getting international rugby in Exeter. This match could inspire the next generation of female rugby players to pick up a ball and get involved in the game.”

Head coach Simon Middleton said: “Going to Exeter has proven to be a huge success in the Test matches we’ve had there to date. The atmosphere in the ground and the way they promote the games is second to none. The buzz we get from just arriving at the stadium on a matchday, it makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. It’s brilliant to be going back there.”

Tickets can be purchased at or

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