|Weight||63kg (9st 12lb)|
It was perhaps inevitable that Danielle would end up playing rugby. After all, she is the daughter of Jim Waterman who played in more than 400 games for Bath Rugby. She has recently returned to the West Country for rugby having moved from Premiership Champions, Worcester to Bristol. “My dad started me off at Minehead when I was four and he’s still there for me, not only to work on my skills but to be my biggest critic,” she once stated. “He has been my coach and mentor throughout my whole playing career.” Her dream is to one day play in the same side as her dad and her two brothers, Sam and Joe who have both played county rugby at age group and senior levels. “Maybe we could sort out a tournament like they do with vets and I could wear the golden shorts.”
She is known as Nolli. Why? “My brother Joe called me Danni Ollie and my dad shortened it to Nolli. I also didn’t think I was girlie enough to be called Danielle. No one ever uses it,” she says.
Danielle, sorry, Nolli, made her Test debut in 2003 and became the youngest girl to represent her country at the age of 18. “I had to sing the obligatory song on the bus and then had the delights of The Sin Bin in Limerick as we had just beaten Ireland to win the Grand Slam.” The Sin Bin, incidentally, is the name of a bar and nothing worse than that. She has since gone beyond 50 caps for her country.
Nolli was educated at West Somerset Community College and Oldfield Sports College and attained a BA (Hons) in Leisure & Sports Management. She is now an AASE (Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence) talent development officer for the RFU at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, developing potential elite players in the 16 to 18 year age group. She said: “It is great to see girls that I have coached progress through the RFU pathway.”
Nolli has represented England Sevens, picked up an award as her country’s Most Promising Player in 2006 and was twice nominated for major accolades in 2010 – the IRB Player of the Year and the IRPA Try of the Year and she sees John Barnes, the kicking coach and a colleague at Hartpury College, as another guiding influence on her career.
According to a biog on the College’s website, she is widely regarded as one of the finest players on the planet. It’s easy to see why she earns such accolades as in her first season at Hartpury, she led the girls’ AASE squad to a prestigious Sevens treble, winning the Cambridge, Berkhamsted Collegiate School and HSBC Rosslyn Park National Sevens tournaments. The girls retained two of those titles the following year.
Last updated: October 21, 2013