“I can't wait to watch another game” - Evolution of Red Roses is capturing the imagination of new supporters

England's Ellie Kildunne lit up the Six Nations and had Red Roses fans up on their feet
©RFU Collection via Getty

No sooner have England concluded their celebrations after another Grand Slam victory, the next phase of the John Mitchell tenure has been confirmed.

Fixtures against France - who they beat 42-21 last weekend to secure their third consecutive Six Nations clean sweep - and world champions New Zealand have been added to the diary for September ahead of the second WXV 1 tournament.

The clash with their old foes from across the Channel will take place at Kingsholm before the Red Roses welcome the Black Ferns to Twickenham on September 14th.

“Our last two games at Twickenham have resulted in the best two crowds ever recorded in women’s rugby,” said England captain Marlie Packer.

“We want more! Playing the Black Ferns at the home of English Rugby is an unbelievable opportunity that doesn’t come around all too often. We can’t wait for thousands of our supporters to get behind us on another special day at Twickenham.”

And the way England delighted and dazzled their supporters during the Six Nations suggests Packer’s vision for another bumper crowd at HQ is likely to be bang on the money.

The Red Roses lit up the championship - scoring 44 tries - but the manner of their displays and victories will only attract more fans who will want to see the number-one ranked side in the world put on a show.

Two weeks ago, 48,778 watched on at Twickenham as Mitchell’s side dismantled Ireland 88-10.

England ran in 14 tries so for my best friend and her partner - who had never watched a women’s rugby game live before - it felt like the perfect performance to lure them.

“Oh I thought it was great” Millie begins. “The pitch was a lot smaller than I thought it would be but the girls were amazing to watch. They were so fast!

“I think because England were doing so well, you got used to them scoring that many points and it kind of became normal for them to keep scoring.

“I think it may have been nice to see a little bit more of a close game but I enjoyed it very much. I'm used to watching games on the TV so to witness it live was great and we were right near the try line which was awesome. I can't wait to watch another game in the future. The men have got some competition!”

After watching my partner play in a club match for St.Ives Midlands RFC for the first time back in February, Millie's partner, Lewis, showed great interest in the Men’s Six Nations which carried over to supporting the Red Roses against Ireland.

“I thought it was absolutely fantastic! I had a really enjoyable experience seeing it live in person which is something you can't account for whilst watching it on the TV.

“I especially liked the energy from the England crowd as well. The half-time entertainment was brilliant, too. It really set the mood for the second half for England to come back out and continue to be strong for the remaining 40 minutes.

“I think anyone would agree that the score at the end of the game was the best part about it all! England started the game as they finished and Ireland didn't stand a chance. I 100 per cent would watch another game of women’s rugby again.”

My partner, Albiee, has watched women's rugby for years and is Team Manager of Hammerhead 7s, a women's sevens team that includes a whole host of Premiership stars alongside some players who play for Team GB.

“Meg Jones was my star player against Ireland,” he added. “I think she played really well and controlled the game nicely. She scored a couple of lovely tries and I think she was outstanding. The tries from the back three were sublime and the forwards were great too.

“My player of the tournament has to be Ellie Kildunne, though. There's no doubt in my mind. She should receive the accolade.”

Kildunne, herself, played a significant role in England’s scintillating displays and right now, the Harlequins star is arguably the best women’s player on the planet.

The 24-year-old - who revealed she will join Team GB’s Sevens setup ahead of this summer’s Paris Olympic Games - was the top try scorer in the Six Nations so having players of Kildunne’s ability and stature wearing the Red Rose will only divert more eyes onto the women’s game.

“She [Kildunne] has such a positive energy about her when she plays,” added my Mum. “She's outstanding and always has a smile on her face when scoring tries. I hope she wins Player of the Tournament as it's richly deserved.”

With the 2025 World Cup coming into view, England under Mitchell are certainly heading in the right direction.

While their convincing performances will only grow belief and confidence internally, the impact the Red Roses are having on current supporters - and potential new fans - is equally as encouraging.