Rugby fans fume as Harlequins Women play at Twickenham in men's kit

Rugby union club Harlequins have been criticised after their women’s team played against Wasps Women at Twickenham in an oversized kit

Rugby union club Harlequins have been criticised after their women’s team played against Wasps Women at Twickenham in an oversized kit.

Harlequins Women took on Wasps Women in the first ever Premier 15s match to be staged at Twickenham, London’s iconic rugby stadium.

The match was held as a double-header, played before the men’s team came up against Northampton Saints.

Billed as the “Big Game”, the event also featured pyrotechnics, fire breathers, lights shows and a live performance from world renowned DJ Pete Tong.

Harlequins Women, who currently sit second in the Premier 15s table, triumphed 29-5 against Wasps Women.

They did so in front of 9,128 spectators, thought to be a world record for a competitive women’s club match.

Despite the overwhelming victory, rugby fans were distracted by the kit worn by the Harlequins Women players, which had been specially designed for the “Big Game” event.

Fiona Tomas, a women’s sport journalist at The Telegraph, posted on Twitter: “Yay to watching the Premier 15s on BT Sport! But why does every Harlequins player look like they’re wearing XXXXL?”

Scrum Queens founder Ali Donnelly also wrote: “Is it unsupportive of me to say it’s great the women’s game is on TV, but my those Harlequins shirts are absolutely yuk!?”

A Twitter user replied: “Sat watching with my wife who said ‘Harlequins are such a colourful team, why are they wearing that hideous kit?’ I was thinking the same… Everyone’s shirts seem too big as well from what I can see.”

“Harlequins are wearing their Big Game 13 jersey today, but seems they only had player-issue jerseys in men’s sizes,” Rucked Magazine posted on Twitter.

“So Quins Women had to take the field for the most high profile women’s club game ever in kit that clearly didn’t fit. Women’s rugby deserves better.”

Harlequins Women captain Rachael Burford did not seem concerned by the oversized kit after the match.

“The club are incredible to put us in this position to play at Twickenham – very few get to play here – it’s such a privilege and honour [and] I don’t care what I was wearing as long as it had a Quins badge on it,” she said.

But Tomas later confirmed the women’s team had been playing in men’s kit, with Harlequins telling The Telegraph that the official matchday jersey was manufactured in “one kit, for both men’s and women’s teams” by Adidas.

The club have now vowed to create a bespoke female kit for next season’s “Big Game” event.

Harlequins came under fire for another oversight, having scheduled lunch for hospitality ticket holders at the same time as the women’s match.

Content producer Victoria Rush wrote on Twitter: “Who thought putting Big Game hospitality at the same time as the woman’s kick off was a good idea?

“All this ‘double header’ talk showing equal coverage of the game… and lunch is served. I will be there OUTSIDE cheering on the women’s game. Who’s with me?”

Despite being a historic day for women’s rugby, the occasion was summed up perfectly by freelance women’s rugby writer Stella Mills.

“So let me get this right, at a match branded as a history making double header we have… Women playing in men’s kit, Hospitality for men’s fans ONLY, Lunch served behind closed doors at the same time as women’s KO,” she wrote.

“What a way to sign off 2021…”

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