Sport: England Rugby 15s
What do you most love about your sport?
It’s different, like you don’t have just one element to it like in athletics, if you’re a sprinter, you just sprint, but in rugby you have to be able to catch and pass, you have to be able to sprint and change direction and make massive collisions. So, I like that it’s got so much variety.
How did you get to play for England?
There’s a pathway, so because I’ve played since I was little, you go through your county, under 15s, I was in London, the South East region and played a load of tournaments, then you get selected for the talent development group. Then finally you get selected for the England under 20s, you have to be over 16 I think to be in that. Then from there I got picked up from one of the England coaches, who changed my position and said we’d like you to come on Summer tour with us, and that was my first cap, last year.
What are your experiences of equality in sport?
With women’s rugby there’s a massive inequality, it has got a lot better recently, but just compared to the men, they get a lot of stuff for free. Whereas for us, it’s different, it’s completely different, we get not a lot for free, we have to work really hard for what we do get and only this year we’ve gone professional. We’re lucky that we are the only country in the world that has a full 15s professional side. It’s nothing compared to the men, it’s literally what they get after one game, we get in a year. Its moving forward but there’s a massive inequality. Women’s sport just doesn’t get advertised as much, there just isn’t as much interest in it which is why we don’t get the sponsorship, which is why we don’t get the money, we don’t get the media.
I think the stereotypes, sometimes women who play sports, they’re like “oh you’re quite manly” but in our squad we’ve got some of the girliest people I’ve ever met, you don’t have to be, just to play sport, you don’t have to be super t or super strong. There’s sports out there for everyone, that everyone will enjoy in some shape or form and have different goals throughout. I think people need to remember that and remember that it’s for enjoyment, you’re not going to get judged and I think with women, people think women’s rugby isn’t as tough as men’s rugby, but actually it’s different, it’s actually interesting, so we have to be a little bit more skilful, because we don’t have the big body mass that the men have to just run through people, so I think that when people watch it they’ll realise it’s not exactly the same game and they’ll have a slightly different interest in it.
How do you think it’s improved?
I think it’s improved with the amount of media coverage we have, obviously the more people we can get involved watching it and enjoying the sport, knowing about it, the more likely we are to get more funding and more tournaments set up, a lot more put into it, a lot more interest. I’ve noticed throughout the six nations cover, we’ve had a lot more media interest, especially as we won the Grand Slam, we’ve had people on the BBC and going down to O2 and other newspapers interested in it. So there has been a massive rise which has been great for us building up to the World Cup, but I think definitely, we need some more.