Roses are Red, England is grinning…

The Autumn Internationals are well underway and in no less fashion has it been just as exciting
and spectacular for the women’s tour. Canada defeated their southern neighbours, the USA 15-
9 and 26-13 in their two matches, France defeated the touring South Africans but the talk of the
town has been England and their two convincing wins against the Black Ferns.

With a 16-game winning streak that goes back to 2019, two World Cups (5-time runners up), 16
Six Nations titles including 15 Grand Slams, 21 Triple Crowns and five European Champions
titles, the England Women’s Rugby XVs team known as the Red Roses are a formidable force of
dominance no matter which way you look at it.

A double thumping of current World Cup winners New Zealand, 43-12 in late October and 56-
15 one week later epitomizes the massive dividends English Rugby can now collect from their
investment in the women’s game. For four years, England Women’s Rugby have turned into a
powerhouse by having their own competition where players are contracted professionally and
can focus on their game. The Red Roses are still currently the only squad made up of fully
professional players.

Beaten 41-32 in the Finals of the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup by New Zealand, the Red
Roses stuck to a long term plan and have now quite emphatically avenged their loss by putting
99 points up on their rivals from across the world. Not so quick to respond but at least trying to
play catch-up as fast as they can, New Zealand will inaugurate their own Super Rugby Aupiki or
women’s competition next season with fully contracted women players too.

But it may be too little too late for the Black Ferns, at least for the preparations for the 2021
World Cup.

France is by and by, currently the second strongest team in the world. They showed their
prowess over South Africa in a 46-3 victory earlier this month. They will play New Zealand next.
They have been beaten by the Red Roses in their last five games. That shows just how above
and beyond the current Red Roses are.

Hattrick try scorer Amy Cokayne is only 25 years old and already has 57 caps for the team. Fly-
half Zoe Harrison has 30 caps and is only 23. Ellie Kildunne plays brilliant at fullback and at 22
years old already has 25 caps to her name.

These ladies show a skillset that makes them magnificent individual players but together with
their teammates, they are simply doing everything at a higher pace and precision and
consistently outplaying their rivals everytime they take the field. Their breakdown game is
meticulous, their lineouts are almost perfect and their attack and support play almost
guarantees points everytime they have the ball.

With Simon Middleton firmly at the helm as Head Coach and Sarah Hunter as Captain leading
the way, the Red Roses are a strong favourite to be the first northern hemisphere team to win
the Women’s Rugby World Cup three times in their history.


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