Springbok Women World Cup bound

Springbok Women celebrate their Rugby World Cup qualification. Image: Via SA Rugby.

Rugby bosses call on corporate South Africa to amplify the rise of women’s rugby

Mark Alexander has revealed SA Rugby’s master plan to amplify women’s rugby, but it needs buy-in from corporate South Africa and the government.

Springbok Women World Cup bound

Springbok Women celebrate their Rugby World Cup qualification. Image: Via SA Rugby.

SA Rugby boss Mark Alexander has made an impassioned plea with corporations to help fund the rapidly rising women’s game in South Africa.

In a first of its kind on South African soil, SA Rugby in conjunction with World Rugby hosted a Women’s Rugby workshop aimed at the amplification of the women’s game globally.


The workshop was led by Sally Harrox, who serves as World Rugby’s Chief of Women’s Rugby. However, during a short media briefing, she was joined by Alexander, who revealed some of the pathways SA Rugby is considering to attract outside funding.

“We as SA Rugby have commissioned a company to help us give a proposal to the Department of Treasury,” Alexander revealed to the media on Monday.

“In the early 70s and 80s, sports sponsorship organisations could get financial relief when you sponsor sports and we want to get back at that, especially for women’s sport.

“We understand the government can’t give us money; we have loads of social and economic problems in the country, like education, housing and electricity.

“So we need to look at other innovative ways, and going back to companies who sponsor sports and we asking just for a five-year opportunity to unlock it.

“Another initiative that we are proposing to the Department of Trade and Industry is the CSI (Corporate Social Investment) codes.

“All listed companies have three percent they put away and go into CSI. But if we are really serious about women, then women’s sports should qualify as CSI, and we want to get access to those funds to advance the base of all women’s sports.

“As an organisation, we are busy, we commission a company to design the proposal and hopefully in the next few months, it will advance through the government process to get its approval.”


This renewed call for greater investment to into the women’s game locally comes in the wake of the Springbok Women’s Test team’s successful defence of their Africa Women’s Cup and their subsequent qualification for next’s year Rugby World Cup in England.

Additionally, the Springbok Women’s Sevens team also booked their place at the 2024 Olympics.

All these accomplishments came at a time when women’s rugby are grossly under-funded and without access to all the necessary resources needed to compete at the highest level.

According to Alexander, what is most needed to rejuvenate women’s rugby in South Africa and to appeal to a greater audience on par with that of the men’s game, is the established of a league which he believes would usher in a more professional era for the women’s game.

As it stands, the Bulls are the only local franchise to award professional contracts to female athletes and established a professional women’s team, Bulls Daisies.

“At the end of the two days, we want to come up with a plan for a professional league for women’s rugby,” Alexander said, adding: “With the experience of Sally [Horrox, World Rugby’s Director of Women’s Rugby] and her team, they have done this in other countries, hopefully when we walk out of here and we at least have a plan to start a professional league next year.

“If we want to grow the game, we need to have a professional league.”

Springbok Women Sevens side celebrate via X
The Springbok Women Sevens side celebrates. Image: @WomenBoks via X