The Women’s Rugby World Cup final sees England’s Red Roses take on hosts New Zealand on Saturday to end a tournament that has raised the profile of the women’s game.
England have displayed some scintillating rugby in this years tournament, and the nation are already proud of their achievements.
And for one south east London rugby club, the profile of the sport has already been raised.
Emily Rutter, 33, who plays for Blackheath Women’s Rugby Club, said: “Whatever the result is Saturday morning, women’s rugby has already won.
“The Rugby World Cup has been an amazing success in reaching new audiences and showing the world that women’s rugby is worth watching.”
Simon Middleton’s side have been dominant so far this tournament and they have racked up some impressive wins, including a 75-0 win over South Africa.
Their unbeaten streak now stretches to 30 games after they overcame a spirited Canada side in the semi-final.
Anne-Lise Costerg, 32, also from Blackheath, said: “The Rugby World Cup has been an amazing success and the England performances are outstanding, but we knew they would be.”
Saturday morning’s showpiece will be England’s biggest challenge yet as they look to go one further after falling short in the 2017 tournament.
Rutter said: “England’s performances have been outstanding and are brilliant to watch.
“Displaying what making a team professionals and giving women a chance to train full time can do for the sport and the standard that’s played.”
Defeat in the 2017 final came at the hands of the Black Ferns but Rutter is optimistic of an England victory in this year’s final.
Rutter said: “This weekend’s match will be a tough one, playing away in the final against the hosting nation adds a physiological advantage to New Zealand, but England have been training hard and are a well drilled unit.
“Our ambition and drive should bring the trophy home but the competition shouldn’t be underestimated and it will be a challenging but brilliant final.”
The final will be broadcast live in the UK at 6:30am on Saturday, but despite the early kick off time, there is sure to be a large viewing audience.
Costerg said: “The most amazing part of this world cup is how the organisation and the players have been able to show to the world of rugby that women’s rugby is worth watching.
“6:30am is a bit early to wake up but it will definitely be a game of rugby to remember.
“World class players will play versus each other this weekend in a sold out Eden Park and whatever the result is Saturday morning, women’s rugby has already won.”
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