Rugby: Women fans just as wild as men study shows

PUBLISHED: 17:46 23 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:46 23 February 2020

Saracens players Elliot Daly, Sean Maitland and George Kruis launch a competition to find Britain's greatest armchair rugby coach, with the chance to grill the players on decisions in Six Nations matches (pic Simon Jacobs Photography)

Saracens players Elliot Daly, Sean Maitland and George Kruis launch a competition to find Britain's greatest armchair rugby coach, with the chance to grill the players on decisions in Six Nations matches (pic Simon Jacobs Photography)

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Women rugby fans are becoming as rowdy as men when they’re watching the game, a study shows.

Two thirds of them confess to jumping up and shouting at the screen when a match is on the telly, according to research for Greene King IPA.

That compares to 55 per cent of female football fans and 29 per cent of those who follow cricket. And the main reason for getting worked up is disagreeing with the referee's decisions.

Surprisingly, female rugby fans are more likely than men to get a group together for a big match (53-29), while blokes would rather watch the action alone (59-38). according to the Greene King IPA survey to mark this year's Six Nations tournament¹.

Rugby fans both male and female are quick at getting over disappointment, with 29 per cent saying they've got over a defeat within the hour and just 8 per cent saying it still bothers them for a week or more after the game, according to a poll of 2,000 sports fans.

Greene King, the UK's leading brewer and pub company, is searching for the ultimate armchair rugby coach and has enlisted the help of a few England international players.

England team-mates Elliot Daly and George Kruis are inviting one ultimate fan to grill them on tactics and decision making at the end of the Six Nations, mastermind style.

Daly said: "I'm not surprised by the results. I know if I'm watching sport at home or in the pub I can't help but jump up and down and shout at the TV. I often wonder about sporting decisions myself, particularly outside of rugby!"

Kruis added: "I'm not joking, I am a little nervous at the thought of being grilled, as rugby fans are passionate about the game. There will probably be a few challenging questions but I'm absolutely up for it!"

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Commenting on how team-mates handle being on opposing sides during internationals, Scottish back Maitland said: "We might be club team-mates and friends off the pitch but when the Six Nations is on, all bets are off. We just focus on the job in hand but I have no doubt we'll be getting together for some well-earned beers come the end of tournament."

Greene King IPA, Official Community Club Partner of England Rugby and headline sponsor of Championship rugby asked female fans who they thought was the greatest national coach of all time with Sir Clive Woodward winning 30 per cent of the vote of rugby women whilst Alf Ramsey came out top (20 per cent) as the greatest England football manager.

Matt Starbuck, managing director of Greene King brewing and brands, added: "There's a frustrated sports coach in most of us. Whether we agree with a coach or ref's decision, or even question a player's action on the pitch, as fans the banter and debate is part of the fun of being a supporter.

"What better way to enjoy the matches and get debate going by heading to your local pub and enjoying a pint with mates."

To enter the competition to win the chance to be crowned Ultimate Armchair Coach and grill the players face to face, fans can post their questions via Greene King Brewery social media [Facebook GreeneKingBrewery Instagram greenekingbrewery].

A winner will be selected at random who will be invited to meet and interview the players at the end of March.²

Daly, Kruis and Maitland will also be posing topical rugby questions via Greene King Brewery social media throughout the tournament asking fans if they 'Agree on That'.

The Six Nations rugby will be shown across 500 Greene King pubs throughout the tournament. To find your nearest pub visit

¹Research methodology: An online survey was conducted by Atomik Research among 2,004 respondents from the UK. The research fieldwork took place on January 17-21. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides to MRS code.

²T&Cs available via Greene King Brewery social media.

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