World Rugby has offered a renewed commitment to its #BeBoldForChange initiative ©World Rugby

World Rugby has offered a renewed commitment to its #BeBoldForChange initiative, which aims to further the profile, development, sustainability and success of the game for females as part of International Women's Day.

Under the guidance of the Women’s Advisory Committee, the sport's governing body has announced it will commence a "comprehensive consultation process with players, fans, unions, regional associations, commercial and broadcast partners".

The organisation are hopeful this will lead to a clear plan for women's rugby between 2017 and 2025.

The announcement comes just five months before the start of the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup, due to be held in Ireland.

According to figures from World Rugby, there are now more than 2.2 million women and girls playing the game around the globe, while 39 per cent of the 1.99 million Get Into Rugby participants in 2016 were female. 

Get Into Rugby is the governing body's mass participation programme with the aim of encouraging players of all ages to "try, play and stay in rugby".

"International Women’s Day 2017 is urging people to be bold for change and we are determined to ensure rugby provides women with opportunities to get involved at all levels of the game, while continuing to be one of the fastest growing team sports for women and girls," said World Rugby chairman, Bill Beaumont.

"We are committed to working with the rugby community to develop a bold eight-year plan that identifies opportunities on and off the field, addresses challenges and builds a better, stronger game for all."

It is hoped this year's Women's World Cup will
It is hoped this year's Women's World Cup will "inspire a new generation of girls and boys to get into rugby" ©Irish Rugby

The new global plan will see World Rugby pledging to work with the rugby community to increase participation through "sustainable development".

It also wants to improve the quality of the game through competition and "drive inclusive governance".

World Rugby has also set its sights on growing the sport's audience and investment and "building an impactful profile".

"A strong game needs strong female participation and in order to achieve that, we must be bold for change and ensure that we are delivering opportunities in the playground, the podium and the boardroom to build a relevant, fun, exciting and sustainable game," said World Rugby's women's rugby general manager Katie Sadleir.

"The women’s plan does not just intend to build upon the successful foundations of the 2011-16 strategic plan, but eliminate barriers ensuring rugby is a progressive, modern, attractive, dynamic and inclusive sport played by girls and women, men and boys around the world.

"It is critical that globally we are innovative,  bold and  prepared to act on the collective needs of the game and a whole new generation of players and fans."