This week 10 girls, aged 16-18, from five aspirational European Unions Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium – attended an England Under-18 training camp, which ran alongside various player development, coaching and refereeing sessions delivered by RFU trainers and educators.

The group also got a chance to see the Women’s Rugby World Cup, which was won by England last year with a victory over Canada in Paris.

“It's been a great honour to be part of this really unique project,” said Anna Lena Swartz, coach of Sweden Women's Under-18s.

“From a coaching perspective I understand my role so much better - it's about players and coaches working together to solve problems. The main stand out aspects of the camp has been the solidarity between everyone here and the way that the RFU so willingly shared their knowledge and expertise with us all.”

Alex Austerberry, Rugby Football Union Divisional talent development officer, added: “It’s been a wonderful celebration of rugby, bringing nations together, sharing ideas, helping each other develop and driving rugby forward across Europe.”   

The RFU and nine other Women's RWC 2014 participating Unions are currently delivering projects as part of the IMPACT Beyond programme for WRWC 2014, as women’s rugby seeks to take full advantage of the feel-good factor in the sport after last summer’s record-breaking tournament.

In New Zealand, for example, the flexibility afforded by a tournament-based approach – as opposed to a season-long league system – has helped bring new players, particularly resident Pacific Islanders, to the women’s game.

The Irish Rugby Football Union, meanwhile, has chosen to target participation growth in girl’s mini rugby through the ‘Give it a Try’ programme. Before the initiative was introduced only six clubs had a girl’s mini rugby team, now there are 40.

All of the schemes are in various stages of development but there is one common denominator: they have all been hugely successful in helping to progress women's rugby globally.

“Some great work is happening on the back of the 10 approved projects,” said Su Carty, World Rugby women’s development manager.

“More women are coming into the game and the unions are progressing their development structures to maximise the potential for further growth building up to WRWC 2017.”