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.


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.

Last updated: Jun 15, 2020 12:38:06 PM
England v New Zealand - Rugby World Cup 2019: Semi-Final
World rankings Women's Men's Feature News Women in Rugby
The World Rugby Rankings in numbers
We take a look at some of the eye-catching numbers from the World Rugby Rankings in both the men’s and women’s game.
Photo of captain Babalwa Latsha playing for South Africa against Scotland
Feature News Women in Rugby women-news-power
Flying the flag for women’s rugby: Babalwa Latsha, the first African women’s player to go professional
Springbok women’s captain Babalwa Latsha made history when she became the first African women’s rugby player to turn professional in January 2020. Here she shares her rugby journey and hopes for the growth and development of the women’s game.
Rio 2016: France and Spain women run out at Deodoro Stadium on day one
Olympics Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby Women-news-sevens
Rugby at the Olympics: Creating sevens history at Rio 2016
Patricia Garcia, Jade Ulutule and Pierre Gilles Lakafia talk to World Rugby about Rio 2016 and their roles in the first men’s and women’s sevens matches to be played at an Olympic Games.
World Rugby logo - one to use for generic releases
Media release Women's Men's News Tournament News Women in Rugby mz-advisory
International rugby set to resume in October as World Rugby Council approves temporary 2020 COVID-19 calendar
An exciting programme of international matches is set to take place later this year after the World Rugby Council approved a temporary adjustment to Regulation 9 to accommodate the release of international players for revised 2020 windows.
Men's Media release Women's Sevens News Tournament News Women in Rugby mz-advisory Challenger Series wr-covid19
Plans revised for HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021
World Rugby and its partners are continuing to focus on planning for the 2021 Series and the build-up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which are now less than one year away
HSBC Sydney Sevens 2020 - Women's
Olympics Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby Women-news-sevens
One Year To Go: Japan hope to establish sevens culture through Tokyo 2020
Kensuke Iwabuchi and Hitoshi Inada talk to World Rugby about their hope that the Olympic Games will leave a lasting legacy of sevens in Japan.
Barbarians Women Training
Women's Rugby World Cup News Tournament News Women in Rugby women-news-2021
Wales and Bristol Bears’ Elinor Snowsill on life as a gay woman in rugby
The fly-half opens up about her journey through the game and states why “it’s still really important” to talk about LGBTQ+ issues today.
Iran - Germany women
Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby women-news-regions
How women are changing the game in Iranian rugby
We take a look at the history of rugby union in Iran, a country where more women play the sport than men.
Rugby - Olympics: Day 6
Olympics Women's Sevens News Tournament News Women in Rugby Women-news-sevens
One Year To Go: Looking ahead to Tokyo 2020
As the countdown to the Tokyo Olympic Games begins in earnest, we take a look at the frontrunners, the most-improved teams and those set to make their debut.
World Rugby logo - one to use for generic releases
Media release Women's Men's News Tournament News Women in Rugby mz-advisory
World Rugby Executive Committee recommends 2020 temporary COVID-19 international calendar
The World Rugby Executive Committee has today recommended a revised temporary 2020 international calendar with the express objective of optimising recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for the betterment of the global game at all levels.