Quotes of WXV 1: ‘Women’s rugby is on the rise, every single week’

Our pick of the quotes from the inaugural WXV 1 tournament in New Zealand.

WXV 1 made a triumphant debut in New Zealand over the past month, as England finished top of the standings following a rollercoaster tournament.

And having heard from the players and coaches involved as the action made its way from Wellington to Dunedin and onto Auckland, we have picked out our favourite quotes.

“We just needed to keep building, trusting our processes. The way we defended, we want to be tested like that, we don’t want to be running away with score after score in the first half. We want to be tested because that’s what makes us better as a team.”
England captain Marlie Packer following the Red Roses’ decisive victory against New Zealand

“I’m often my harshest critic. There’ll still be loads I need to work on from that game, but it was nice to be able to show what I can do.” 
Red Roses hooker Lark Atkin-Davies on scoring four tries against Canada

“It was amazing to come back here, I played here during the 2011 [Men’s Rugby] World Cup and I have fond memories.”
Interim England head coach Louis Deacon on returning to Forsyth Barr Stadium

“We want to win, we want to play the game the way we play – hard-hitting, new exciting attacking stuff and test it out against the top teams in the world.”
England prop Sarah Bern discusses the Red Roses’ evolving style

“As great as it is scoring all those tries from mauls, you would like to get hands on the ball and play. So, yeah, I think it's really positive just having that mixture showing that we can really front up but also us as backs have a little bit to say as well because we’re capable of pretty nice things.”
England back Helena Rowland is relishing England’s change in approach

“I think it’s brilliant that we have the different tiers and that we’re growing the women’s game globally. Hopefully it’ll encourage more unions around the world to invest in their women’s sides and show what great quality of games we can play.”
Bern on the potential impact of WXV

“We got a total lesson on the physicality of rugby. There is no room for chance when we're not here. We're not quite here. We're not present in the basics. Then that's just what happens, and there’s a lot of frustration on our side.”
France co-coach Gaëlle Mignot, after Les Bleues lost to Australia

“I think it was a really good campaign for us because it showed us what we need to work on. And it showed us that we had a lot of work to do. Still, for women's rugby in general, I was really proud and grateful to be part of this first competition and I hope that it's going to get better and better in the future.”
France captain Manaé Feleu on her WXV 1 experience

“It's not the result that we wanted. That is true. However, this is a very fun, enjoyable competition that we are having. And I think that, yes, we're going to go out, have some drinks, you know, celebrate life, because these are life moments no matter what happens. And I think it's good to, you know, cheer all together.”
France scrum-half Pauline Bourdon Sansus enjoyed her time in New Zealand, on and off the pitch

“The competition is really cool because it didn’t just pop up overnight. It’s been a learning process, we’ve always wanted more tests, but it’s not that simple. We have to get all the other unions, all the other countries on the same page… So, now hopefully people will get to know the competition, get to know the players and realise it’s not just World Cup anymore. It’s. Every. Year. We’re playing the best in the world. It’s a super exciting competition.”
Black Ferns star Ruby Tui on her first impressions of WXV

“Having something like this every year means we’re guaranteed quality game time against quality opposition, against the best teams in the world, every year. It’s not just going to push the standard of women’s rugby internationally; it’s going to allow us as a team to build more depth and have much more experience in the years to come.”
New Zealand co-captain Ruahei Demant on the benefits of WXV

“Women's rugby is on the rise, every single week so you have to be better.”
Tui refuses to rest on her laurels

“It’s an advantage to understand the way that the players and coaches think and getting to learn from them. Playing with Marlie Packer at Saracens, as a back-row player the advantage to ‘steal’ knowledge is really great.”
Canada captain Sophie de Goede on playing club rugby in England

“It’s on us as a team to know when to go into the breakdowns, to know when to try and poach the ball. We have to keep each other accountable, telling your team-mates to keep hands off the ball, tapping them on the backside and getting them out of the ruck. Playing smarter, basically, it’s simple.”
Courtney Holtkamp has some “simple” advice for her Canada team-mates

“I'll be honest with you, the vibes are high… We got a win. It's nice to finish with some success, and we're not going to get to see each other for six months. So, I think this is the perfect way to end. And the party has started.”
Paige Farries, following Canada’s win against France

“You look at the Six Nations. That tournament had to start from somewhere, and we’re [at] the start of the WXV tournament. In years to come, it’ll be something phenomenal. That’s an exciting prospect.”
Wales second-row Abbie Fleming is excited for what the future holds

“Arabella McKenzie said we’ve been waiting for two years to actually put a performance like that on the field, we've done the training, we know what to do.”
Wallaroos coach Jay Tregonning following Australia’s win over France

“The last time I scored three tries in a match was in club footy. It feels amazing, we’re battlers.”
Australia’s hat-trick heroine against France, Eva Karpani

Last updated: Nov 7, 2023, 11:08:13 AM
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