Women's rugby team don dresses to draw in crowds

IT'S not quite what you'd expect at a rugby game.

But the Capital looks set to introduce its first ever prom dress rugby tournament.

Broughton Rugby Club's women's side took on Glasgow University in a test game that saw more than a few split seams and torn hems.

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Now the north Edinburgh side plan to hold a tournament to attract teams from across Scotland and abroad to hook in the crowds to the fast-growing game.

Broughton RFC president Mark Brown said the successful friendly last weekend - which Broughton won 60-0 - showed that prom dress rugby could tackle the issue of drawing in the crowds.

He said: "The idea came from our captain, Anna McFarlane, who used to play over at Glasgow Uni and decided it would be good laugh to have a prom dress friendly with Glasgow, and it grew from that.

"There was a variety of different costumes. Some had the full ball gown, others had frocks.

"Even the referee wore a waistcoat and collar and cuffs to play along to fit in with the game. The whole match went off with a bang so now the girls are looking to make it a key fixture."

The club are still rucking through the details but say they would like to hold a 16-team weekend "dress for success" event.

Prom dress rugby started at universities in the United States, where rugby is an emerging sport, and has grown thanks to the help of YouTube.

Mr Brown said: "Hopefully it'll be bigger than just an annual friendly.

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"It was touted at our AGM on Tuesday that we should extend it to the whole rugby community, Scotland-wide and even abroad.

"The idea is that we'd have a 16-team weekend tournament and clubs can come with their frocks and compete.

"It would be a great fundraiser for the club and would raise the profile of the women's game.

"Women's rugby's already got its critics, but we're hoping to draw in the crowds with a tournament."

Broughton RFC's women's team was only set up this season, but Mr Brown said there had been a huge response to the appeal for female rugby players.

He said: "We've had about a dozen new players this year, some of which have never played before, but they've come on board and we've finished second top of the national league. Added to that was the fact that Maggie Smith was the national player of the year at the recent SRU awards.

"We're trying to show rugby for girls is cool."

Outside centre Maggie, 24, said: "It's quite strange wearing the prom dress and definitely something you have to get used to but you do feel pretty feminine and maybe it will remind people that we are women.

"There's a lot of ripping of dresses as it's easier to throw people down to the ground because of the amount of fabric."

While pulling on her prom dress prior to the game, the Broughton captain suffered a freak accident when a zipper snagged her tooth and pulled it out.

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