SportsAid alumni set to represent Red Roses in Women’s Rugby World Cup final

Nine members of SportsAid’s alumni have been confirmed in England’s starting line-up for tomorrow’s Women’s Rugby World Cup final clash against New Zealand at the Kingspan Stadium. Led by captain Sarah Hunter, a recipient of a TASS award in 2008, the Red Roses will be looking to retain their crown having beaten Canada in the final three years ago to lift the World Cup for the second time.
25 August, 2017

Nine members of SportsAid’s alumni have been confirmed in England’s starting line-up for tomorrow’s Women’s Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Led by captain Sarah Hunter, a recipient of a TASS award in 2008, the Red Roses will be looking to retain their crown having beaten Canada in the final three years ago to lift the World Cup for the second time.

Previous SportsAid beneficiaries Sarah Bern, Abbie Scott, Alexandra Matthews, Marlie Packer, Natasha Hunt, Kay Wilson, Megan Jones and Emily Scarratt join Hunter in the team aiming to overcome the Black Ferns in what is bound to be a tight contest. The Red Roses have reached the last five finals with New Zealand getting the better of them on three of those occasions.

Victoria Fleetwood, Harriet Millar-Mills, Isabelle Noel-Smith, Amber Reed and Amy Wilson Hardy, all of whom received SportsAid support during the early stages of their careers, will be seeking to have an impact from the substitutes’ bench. The total number of SportsAid alumni in the squad is 19 with Zoe Aldcroft, Poppy Cleall, Leanne Riley, Emily Scott and Danielle Waterman also part of the set-up.

Waterman, who was helped by SportsAid in 2000 and has featured in four World Cup campaigns, is unable to take her place in the final due to being ruled out with concussion. She has been replaced by outside centre Jones with Scarrett moving into full-back. Waterman starred in the Pool B wins over Spain, Italy and USA before being removed from the field of play in the semi-final against France.

Tight-head proper Bern is the youngest member of the Red Roses squad and the most recent to have been given backing by SportsAid. Bern, supported by the charity in 2013, 2014 and 2015, was awarded ‘Player of the Match’ against France as she scored the first try to set England on their way to a 20-3 success.

“Our goal was to get to this point in the tournament, using the full breadth of the squad and rotating players to ensure we were in the best possible position to peak on Saturday,” said Red Roses head coach Simon Middleton. “As a group they have consistently delivered quality performances throughout the tournament. It’s now about finishing the job and leaving nothing out on the field.”

Here’s the list of SportsAid athletes in the Red Roses squad for the Women’s Rugby World Cup final....


Sarah Bern
Supported by SportsAid – 2013 (SportsAid), 2014, 2015 (Jaguar)

Abbie Scott
Supported by SportsAid – 2011-2012 (TASS)

Alexandra Matthews
Supported by SportsAid – 2010, 2011 (Surrey CPFA)

Marlie Packer
Supported by SportsAid – 2004 (SportsAid)

Sarah Hunter
Supported by SportsAid – 2007-2008 (TASS)

Natasha Hunt
Supported by SportsAid – 2010-2011 (TASS)

Kay Wilson
Supported by SportsAid – 2010-2011 (TASS)

Megan Jones
Supported by SportsAid – 2014 (Jaguar)

Emily Scarratt
Supported by SportsAid – 2009-2010 (TASS)

Victoria Fleetwood
Supported by SportsAid – 2007 (SportsAid)

Harriet Millar-Mills
Supported by SportsAid – 2008 (Norwich Union)

Isabelle Noel-Smith
Supported by SportsAid – 2014 (Lloyds)

Amber Reed
Supported by SportsAid – 2011-2012 (TASS)

Amy Wilson Hardy
Supported by SportsAid – 2007 (SportsAid), 2012-2013 (TASS)

Zoe Aldcroft
Supported by SportsAid – 2015 (Thompson Trust)

Poppy Cleall
Supported by SportsAid – 2011-2012 (TASS)

Leanne Riley
Supported by SportsAid – 2010, 2011 (Asda), 2013 (Jaguar)

Emily Scott
Supported by SportsAid – 2007 (SportsAid), 2008 (Asda)

Danielle Waterman
Supported by SportsAid – 2000 (FSA)

You can watch the Women’s Rugby World Cup final by tuning into ITV1 at 7pm tomorrow (7:45pm kick-off). Best of luck to the Red Roses!