Live TV matches will help women’s rugby grow

Virtuo LogoScotland back-row Louise McMillan believes the fillip of having Scotland’s home games for the whole 2018/19 season live on television can help the team bounce back from last weekend’s loss in Italy – and help grow the game in the process.

On Thursday Scottish Rugby announced that they had reached a deal with BBC ALBA to televise an unprecedented number of women’s matches going forward. 

The first Scotland match to be shown under the new deal will be when they host Canada at Scotstoun on Tuesday, November 27.

Into 2019 the three home Six Nations matches against Italy, Ireland and Wales will be live too with BBC ALBA also confident of being able to show the away matches as well.

And at the domestic level, the Sarah Beaney Cup final will be shown live.

McMillan, 21, played on Sunday as the Scots lost out 38-0 in Calvisano in their season opener.

She said:  “The result and performance in Italy was disappointing for us all, but we are not panicking after one defeat.

“It is great to have the Canada game coming so soon to try and bounce back while the BBC ALBA coverage will help raise the awareness of women’s rugby, give us a boost and get more youngsters involved in the game.”

BBC ALBA image by Scottish Rugby SNS

What they said about the new television deal

Gemma Fay, Head of Girl’s and Women’s Rugby at Scottish Rugby: “I am delighted BBC ALBA have announced they will be covering the Scottish Women’s Rugby matches on their channel. The commitment they are showing to Scottish women’s sport is really positive and we hope this will in turn help to inspire the next generation of rugby players.”

Iseabail Mactaggart, Director of Strategy and Partnership at MG ALBA: “We are delighted to be able to showcase the growing women’s game in Scotland with both Six Nations coverage and the Sarah Beaney Cup Final. We’ve demonstrated with our previous coverage of the PRO14 competition how we can usefully partner to catalyse the growth of a sport, and engage new audiences  – sometimes for the first time – with Gaelic.

“I am proud that BBC ALBA is able to showcase these sportswomen’s efforts both in the national team but also the Sarah Beaney Cup teams. We’re excited too to kick off with making the Canada game available there by livestreaming it at the end of the month.”

Scotland Women v Canada advert

Sport Minister Joe FitzPatrick: “This partnership is a key step in celebrating and raising awareness of women’s rugby in Scotland. Not only will elite female fixtures be broadcast, including the Women’s Six Nations, but the grassroots game will gain exposure with people able to view the final of the key domestic competition, the Sarah Beaney Cup.

“Scottish Rugby and their partners have worked hard to increase the number of women and girls participating in rugby, and the commitment of BBC and MG ALBA to showcasing the sport is another step forward.”

Where is BBC ALBA is available?

Sky – 141
Freeview / YouView – 7 (Scotland only)
Virgin Media – 161
Freesat – 109
BBC iPlayer

Thanks to Scottish Rugby/SNS for the photo from the launch

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