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England women’s team should play against men as Six Nations opponents not challenging enough says Brian Moore

28 Mar 2022 2 minute read
England player Marlie Packer. Picture by herself (CC BY-SA 4.0).

England’s women’s team should play against men as their Six Nations opponents aren’t challenging enough, Brian Moore has said.

The rugby commentator said that Scottish, Irish and Italian Unions needed to fund a professional women’s game in order to provide a challenge to England’s women, after they beat Scotland 5-57 over the weekend.

Wales gave 12 players professional contracts at the start of the year, and semi-pro deals to another 12, an investment that seemed to pay off as they beat Ireland 27-19 in Dublin having lost 45-0 last season.

But Brian Moore suggested that England, who have won four of the last five Six Nations, may have to look elsewhere for a greater level of challenge.

“If the England Women’s team cannot find the sort of physical and technical challenge that they need in ordinary fixtures against conventional opponents, they should look to see if it is possible to have structured training sessions and games against the England Under-18 or Under-20 male teams,” he said.

“Purists might baulk at this sort of crossover and in an ideal world, where every Tier 1 union valued and invested in women’s rugby, this would not be necessary.”

England is currently ranked in first place in the world, with New Zealand in second. Wales is in 11th place.

Wales won the wooden spoon last year and had not won a game since 2019 but have already bettered that result with their victory over Ireland.

Wales had trailed 14-5 at half-time before late tries by Donna Rose and Hannah Jones.


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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago

I totally disagree with Brian Moore. The only difference is investment not the quality of opponents. England’s women’s team have access to better training facilities, coaching & funding where the other teams, especially Wales, not so. If it were a level playing field it would be a different matter.

Rhys Jones
Rhys Jones
6 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Isn’t that what he’s saying? That until the other teams catch up to ‘better training facilities, coaching & funding’; England need to look elsewhere for a challenge. At least that’s what I took from his comments, not that playing men’s u18/20 is an ideal scenario.

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
6 months ago

Sport is what you do after a week’s work, not instead of a week’s work.

And that is not just about women’s sport for me.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
6 months ago

Agree. Keep fit should be the thing, not standing about watching others hurt each other.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
6 months ago

Move your country to the southern hemsiphere then……and stay there.

Phil
Phil
6 months ago

If Brian Moores comment had any logic the all the home nations should have stoped playing the All Bkacks for 30 years while the caught up?

Gareth
Gareth
6 months ago

I can see Brian Moore’s point. Look at the results, in 26 years of women’s rugby championship in Europe, England have won 17 titles, including 11 times since 2006, they should either all be pro teams, or England should compete against stronger opposition. Mind you, we are also to blame, as England were short of cash we and Scotland agreed to combine our men’s 7s teams with England, and England then spent the money saved on the women’s game, and gave them pro contracts. WRU suckers.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
6 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

Not quite so simple. The GB Sevens team plays at the Olympics where Wales and Scotland and even England have no presence. Wales didn’t have the expense of that sevens squad.

Wales women retained players signed contracts and became squad members just ten weeks before the Ireland game. England have poured money into their women’s rugby for ten years. We lesser mortals just might catch up in the far distant future.

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