Between the Lines: Heather Moyse

World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Heather Moyse opens up about her double life as an international rugby player and Olympic bobsledder on a special episode of the Between the Lines podcast.

World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Heather Moyse has provided rare insight into the hard work behind her ascent to the pinnacle of test rugby, sevens and Olympic bobsleigh.

Moyse represented Canada at two Rugby World Cups, in 2006 and 2010, and was part of the squad that finished as runners-up to New Zealand at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow.

Those feats are even more remarkable when you consider that she spent her winters competing in two-woman bobsleigh, winning gold at both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.

WATCH A LIVE STREAM OF USA V CANADA FROM RWC 2010 THIS SATURDAY, AT 19:00 BST, VIA THE OFFICIAL RUGBY WORLD CUP FACEBOOK PAGE AND WORLD RUGBY’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL.

In fact, as Moyse told Sean Maloney on a special episode of the Between the Lines podcast, she took just two weeks off between winning gold at the Vancouver Games and beginning training for RWC 2010 in England.

“A couple of years before the [2010] Olympics, they had asked me to quit playing rugby and I said: ‘No, [when] you guys recruited me I was a rugby player, I'm a rugby player. I'm not giving this up’,” Moyse said.

“[I] competed in the Olympics again, and we won in Vancouver. And then again, I took those two weeks of kind of letting my body relax a little bit and then right back into it, because my endurance was next to nothing.

“When you're coming off a bobsled season, it's everything about short, explosive speed for five, six seconds max. 

“So, I turned my entire attention towards building my endurance, getting my hands back on the ball again. I just did hill sprints over and over and over that whole transition. 

“And then they had that spring training camp that ended off with a couple of games against the U.S. And it was a hard camp for me, not just physically but also mentally and emotionally.”

‘I was exhausted’

Moyse represented Canada at RWC Sevens 2013, where the team’s only two defeats came to champions New Zealand — one in the pool stage and the other in the final at Luzhniki Stadium.

She turned 35 shortly after the tournament in Moscow and having recently undergone hip surgery, turned down the opportunity to be part of the programme that prepared for Rio 2016, when rugby returned to the Summer Games.

“I was exhausted. I was just tired. I was not wanting to move away and live, like [my] priorities just shifted,” Moyse told Maloney. 

“After being on the road for almost two years straight, I think had I been given that opportunity to [stay closer to home], then it would have been maybe a different choice. 

“But I chose what I needed in my life then and what was important to me.”

Moyse also discussed her place in the World Rugby Hall of Fame, and modestly admitted that she had not realised that one existed before she received the letter that confirmed her induction in 2016.

“I was stunned at the moment, and I still, I think, continue to be shocked,” Moyse explained.

Listen to the World Rugby podcast on your favourite podcast player: WhookshaSpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsDeezer and TuneIn.

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