Women to compete in gay rugby world cup for first time

Four women’s teams will take part in the gay rugby world cup for the first time this weekend.

In a historic first, the all-female squads will join the 70 men’s teams in the Bingham Cup, which will be held from this Friday and Saturday in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Three of the teams come from Sweden, Canada, and the Netherlands respectively. The fourth team is made up from women across the world.

The all-female teams will compete against one another in a single tier, while the men’s squads will play across three tiers. About 200 games will be played during the tournament.

Each of the women’s teams will play a minimum of three matches. The women’s final will be held this Saturday afternoon.

Canadian club Ottawa Wolves RFC posted a photo of some of their players on Twitter, with the caption: “Check out these powerful women making history today at @BinghamCup2018. #arcallblues #womensbarbarians @sthlmberserkers playing their first Bingham Cup! #gayrugby.”


The biennial Bingham Cup is in its ninth year.

Amsterdam as chosen as the host city in October 2016.

The city came first in a vote by all sixty International Gay Rugby (IGR) clubs beating London’s King Cross Steelers, Edinburgh’s Caledonian Thebans and Toronto’s Muddy York.

It’s the first time the contest has been held in continental Europe.

Andrew Purchas, chairman of IGR, said at the time that the quality of all the bids received was exceptional and showcased the importance of diversity and inclusion in sport.

“The Amsterdam Lowlanders are one of IGR’s most active and successful clubs, having competed in the last seven Bingham Cups and won numerous trophies and awards,” he said.

Rugby players at the Bigham Cup. (Kevin Scott)

“This vote reflects their high standing in the gay rugby community and our confidence that they will deliver an outstanding rugby tournament worthy of their tagline: ‘Prepare for Impact’.”

The Bingham Cup was established in 2002 in memory of gay rugby player Mark Bingham, one of the passengers who fought back against hijackers on United Airlines Flight 93 during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Although Mark and his fellow passengers didn’t survive, they have been recognised as preventing the hijackers from reaching their intended target, which some believe was the White House.