Source: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

World Cup sparks record fans

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England’s World Cup Final losers are inspiring record numbers of fans for their new season as a consolation for the heartbrake of missing out on becoming world champions.

Quins say ‘around 50,000’ have already bought tickets for the women’s and mens double-header versus Bristol next month.

Furthermore, ‘more than 20,000’ have already bought tickets for England women against France in the six nations clash which will be at Twickenham next April.

As the women’s premiership kicks off, more clubs are trying to tap a world cup bounce and Bristol Bears are offering ‘women’s only’ season tickets for the first time ever.

Bristol director Dave Ward, husband of England star Abbie Ward, says; ‘We have already sold 160 women’s season tickets at £50 a head. It is incredible value for at least two cup games and nine home league games.’

Last season Bristol had an average home gate of 800 and it hopes it will get nearer the 2500 capacity of Shaftesbury Park this season.

England’s former world cup winner Rachael Burford said; ‘Regardless of the WC final result, the momentum is there for the women’s game. Everyone wants to see more of what we saw at the world cup. I have been there in terms of winning and losing finals and right now it is the hardest thing for our England players to digest it and appreciate the perspective of the impact they have had on our game’.

She is preparing for another season at Quins and adds ‘pro salaries for all the women at the club ‘are still several years away, though it is something i want to see’. Right now it is about trying to maximise the potential of the 2025 home world cup.’

About the potential record domestic game crowd next month she says;’Hopefully genuine fans , male and female, will turn up early for the double header with Bristol at Twickenham and not just come to watch the men, as has been the case when double-headers were staged in the past’.

Bristol’s world cup England star lock Abbie Ward says; ‘This is going to be the most competitive women’s premiership ever. I will return to play again in about three weeks and will have to fight for my place’.

Gloucester Hartbury head coach Sean Lynn says his club will be giving away ‘around 200 free community tickets for girls each game’ and women’s only game tickets will start at £5.

Its star player, Natasha Hunt, says ‘the geography of splitting between two home towns is a hurdle to fans’. She vows to try and regain her England scrum half jersey.