Today Monday August 16th 2010 lots of women rugby players are arriving to Surrey to play in the Women’s Rugby World Cup.
There are 12 teams competing at a brand new Surrey Sports Complex. They will spend the next few days training and polishing off their team play and tactics.
The champions New Zealand were the first to arrive on Saturday in order to be able to have more time to get over jet lag. They are in Pool A with Australia, Wales and South Africa. England is in Pool B with Ireland, Kazakhstan and USA. In pool C there are Scotland, France, Canada and Sweden.
The 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup will be the sixth in its history. The first ever was held in Cardiff in April 1991. The 12 teams in 1991 were the hosts Wales, Canada, England, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, USA and the USSR. England and USA made it to the final with USA winning 19-6. The following tournament, played 3 years later, saw England getting revenge against USA in the final. It was a compelling game in which England beat USA 38-23.
Gill Burns, a player for the England squad in 1994, who is an iconic figure in the history of Women’s Rugby today sits as President of the Rugby Football Union for Women. She believes that England’s current players have a good chance to enjoy success again on home soil. Gill Burns remembers that in her day it was belief, teamwork and mental strength that carried her team through to win the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 1994.
She believes that the home venue will have a great advantage for the English girls, who with the crowds behind them will have every chance of being the champions. However they need to be careful not to become complacent even though they got the Grand Slam in this year’s Six Nations. Their win over France was by no means an easy one and was tense and exciting, with France leading right up until the last few minutes of the match. In the history of Women’s Rugby World Cup England have made it to every single final however they only enjoyed victory in 1994.
Gill Burns was a ballet dancer from a young age as well as excelling in a variety of sports. She only took up rugby aged 23 and within a year was wearing the England rugby shirt, which is something that she says would not happen due to advancements in today’s women’s rugby. These days the players have several years experience and are very polished by the time they get into the rugby team.
Here you can see a great selection of men’s and women’s rugby shirts, shorts and kits which are customisable for your team.