Under the expert guidance of Head Coach Gary Street, England’s Women have made real progress over the past few seasons. As Rugby World Cup finalists, reigning champions of both the RBS 6 Nations and the Nations Cup, expectations are high. And with such a capable squad, the sky really is the limit.
This autumn is set to be the busiest ever for England who will play two matches against France and three against world champions New Zealand between November 2 and December 3. England then go into the New Year looking to defend their Six Nations crown and secure a record breaking seventh consecutive title.
England Women’s Sevens will also be in action as momentum builds towards Rugby Sevens’ inclusion in the 2016 Olympic Games with tournaments across the globe, including the inclusion of international women’s rugby in the IRB World 7s Series.
A BSc Sport Science and Nutrition (Hons) degree opened the way for Alice Richardson to become a personal trainer and conditioning coach. A RFU Level 2 coach, she has 36 England caps and 46 international points to her name, including a try in the 2011 Nations Cup triumph over Canada.
A late starter in the game at the age of 21, Claire Purdy has clearly made up for lost time and led the Red Roses to a 46-8 win over South Africa in the Nations Cup match at Appleby College, Ontario in early August 2011. Three months later she was vice captain when the side beat the Black Ferns 21-7 at Esher.
Being told that she would not make the top grade as a centre was the inspiration behind Sarah Hunter switching to the back row and celebrating her 40-cap landmark with a try when captaining England to a 61-0 win over Spain in the opening FIRA-AER European Cup match at Rovereto, Italy last May.
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