Women's Rugby World Cup: England’s World Cup heroines to carry on playing
England's winning squad not likely to break up just yet
Monday 18 August 2014
England’s triumphant Women’s World Cup-winning team is highly unlikely to break up in the short term, even though around half of the successful 30-strong squad have passed the 50-cap mark and may struggle to stick around long enough to mount a defence of the title in four years’ time.
Only the long-serving Saracens flanker Maggie Alphonsi, the best known female player in the country and an influential figure in the defeat of Canada in Paris on Sunday night, is thought to be tempted by immediate retirement.
“We do have a number of very experienced players, but I get the impression that virtually all of them fancy the thought of playing on with ‘world champion’ next to their names,” said the head coach, Gary Street.
“For Maggie to go out on this high, after all she’s given to the women’s game in England, would be perfect for her: I’ve been coaching her since she was 14 and she’s always been a world champion to me, even though it’s taken until now for her to claim the medal. As for the others, no one has spoken to me about calling it quits.”
Over the next couple of weeks, Street will begin work on a new blueprint for the development of the national team. “I’ll have a blank sheet of paper,” he said. “What we achieved was the culmination of a four-year plan geared completely towards the 2014 tournament.
“If I’m honest, we never looked beyond it: nothing else mattered to us. Now that it’s over, we’ll start afresh. I believe we’re embarking on an exciting new era for women’s rugby, not just in England but further afield.”
On the Premiership front, Wasps named the England flanker James Haskell as their new captain. The club also confirmed he had signed a contract extension at Adams Park.
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