ENGLAND women’s star Katy Daley-Mclean hopes Yorkshire rugby lovers will turn out in force when the national side goes on the road to Doncaster Knights’ Castle Park next month.
Just as the men’s side are taking fixtures away from Twickenham – Eddie Jones’s side host Italy at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park next September – so, too, are the women’s.
The second of their Quilter Internationals will be against Canada at Doncaster on Sunday, November 18 as the governing body try to broaden the profile of the sport and attract new supporters.
Fly-half Daley-Mclean, who is set to win her 100th cap in the opening game against USA at Saracens’ Allianz Park, is relishing the chance to create a buzz at the 5,000 capacity South Yorkshire ground.
“It’s a massive privilege and honour to play at Twickenham, but sometimes it is quite hard when you’re playing to quite an empty stadium,” explained South Shields-born Mclean, who lifted the 2014 World Cup as captain.
“I think that’s the beauty of coming to grounds like Castle Park at Doncaster is that we know there will be a really good crowd here.
“But actually it is the atmosphere that will make it.
“People getting in there, getting behind us against a really tough physical Canada side, will make a massive difference.
“We played in front of 16,000 out in France last year and the home fans had flags waving and were shouting all the time and you could definitely feel it.
“It just builds that atmosphere. That’s what we want. Canada have great crowds over at their home, too, and we want to show that we can match it and I’m sure we’ll do that here and reach capacity,” she added.
Daley-Mclean, 32, added: “When I started out we played in front of 250 fans and the majority was friends and family, but the women’s’ game has just gone from strength to strength.
“The quality of the game is really up there and, as a northern girl, the fact the game is moving out of London and we get the opportunity to travel and move up here to Doncaster is just fantastic.”