If it is acceptable for a 16 year old boy to play test match cricket (Sachin Tendulkar in 1990, the Bangladeshi 'keeper last year) why should a woman not play, always provided she is good enough? This is not to say that women should play in football teams, but that there should be no reason why they should not. I do, however, part company with Natalie a touch when she comes to rugby. It is true that there are some half-backs who are as physically weaker than a hulking great forward, but I think Natalie misses a point. She says that most male opposition to mixed rugby would be that physical contact equals sex and that therefore no girls in the scrum.
There's a better, and more likely a truer reason most men balk at the idea of mixed rugby. Even a brief glimpse of a game of rugby (at any level) reveals the huge role violence has to play. In the scrum devilish things go on that no-one knows, and no-one tells. The presence of women in the scrum would either be a horrendous clash between expectation and reality, or else an end to a large amount of the inherent phyisicality of rugby. Because if there's one lesson that all real men get hammered into them from the time they can walk it is "You never hit girls." I think it's better if we stick to that.