An attendance of more than 3,500 for the Leicester Tigers’ Women’s Championship fixture at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday is the highest for any club game in England outside the Gallagher Premiership this season.
For the first time ever at the stadium, the Tigers’ men’s and women’s teams shared matchday and the supporters responded with a recorded 3,523 staying for the Championship North derby against Loughborough.
That figure is almost 1,000 more than any game in the men’s Championship so far this season and also higher than last season’s Women’s Premier 15s Final.
Tigers chief executive Andrea Pinchen said: “It is fantastic to see the response of supporters to the new Tigers women’s team and for them to be able to share in a big occasion together at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.
“We had a lot of interest in season tickets for the women’s team and the fans have really got behind the team already. It just shows the potential in the women’s game here.
“It was great to not only see the game and the size of the support but also the way the supporters interacted with the team afterwards, the way the players responded and to know they are all together in growing this team from these very early days.
“We want as many people as possible in our community involved in rugby and the women’s and girls’ programme is a big part of that.”
Supporters were treated to action worthy of the occasion as the Tigers continued their unbeaten start to a debut season in women’s league rugby with a 27-20 victory thanks to a late try following a second-half fightback from the visitors.
It was fitting that the decisive score should come from Rome-born wing Lucrezia Iavarone after the afternoon’s action began with the men’s team securing a 33-19 win over an Italian Select XV.
Mattioli Woods Welford Road also set a record for an England Women’s attendance last season when a crowd of more than 15,000 cheered the Red Roses to victory over Ireland in the Six Nations.
Vicky Macqueen, head of Tigers’ women’s programme, added: “I am so pleased that so many supporters stayed on for the game – it is so important to us that we get the message out that women’s rugby is a great game. We want more families introduced to the game, women’s rugby is on the up and it was great that we could attract such a big crowd on the same day that the Red Roses got through to a World Cup Final.”
The women’s team are return to Mattioli Woods Welford for a Championship North fixture against Harrogate ladies on Saturday, November 19 (3.00pm) and match tickets are available now. Tigers season ticket holders can book their place in advance via a code emailed by the ticket office.
𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗿𝗱-𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗱𝗮𝘆 👏— Leicester Tigers Women's (@TigersWomens) November 9, 2022
3️⃣,5️⃣2️⃣3️⃣ supporters attended our Championship fixture at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday, making it the highest attendance for any club game in England outside the Gallagher Premiership this season.
👉 https://t.co/bGY63Y0QTZ pic.twitter.com/Oe6dFu1T8E