Rugby / World Cup. Laure Sansus, Emily Scarratt, Portia Woodman…who are the stars of the World Cup?

Laura Sansus.  Photo Sipa/Daniel VAQUERO

Laura Sansus. Photo Sipa/Daniel VAQUERO

Laure Sansus (France), it’s dynamite

The pocket scrum half (1.57 m) of Les Bleues, who will retire at the end of the World Cup at only 28 years old, has accumulated awards this season: best player in the Six Nations Tournament, best scorer in the competition (six tries), French champion and best French international.

The one who started playing rugby at the age of 5 is often compared to her counterpart at the Blues, Antoine Dupont, for her qualities as a surface blaster.

For its president in Toulouse, Didier Lacroix, “Laure may have suffered from her stress for a while, but today, her maturity means that she manages it completely differently. She lets go, she takes advantage of everything and she lives it as if it were her last moments« .

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Arabella McKinzie (Australia), inspiring youth

Arabella McKenzie, barely out of adolescence, made her debut in 2019 in the « Wallaroos“, the Australian rugby team, two years after helping his country to seven gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games.

After starting out with the NSW Waratahs, the 23-year-old, as comfortable at the open as at the back, exploded last season with the Matatu franchise, based in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The one who confides to having had as a model the All Black Beauden Barrett wishes that « the little girls who admire the Wallaroos see us as hardworking and determined women who never give up in the face of adversity« .

Zintle Mpupha (South Africa), from cricket to rugby

The 28-year-old South African center three-quarter (15 caps, 86 points) began as a teenager playing high-level cricket, to the point of joining the U19 national team, before embarking on rugby. VII, as an opening half.

During her studies at the university, she put herself in the XV but her choice made her doubt: « after every training session i was like  »i’m not good enough, i don’t deserve to be here »« .

Mpupha then managed to regain her self-confidence until she became a must in the VII and XV selections. More impressive: by signing in 2021 at the Exeter Chiefs, she becomes the first South African to play in the English Premier League.

Emily Scarratt is one of the stars of the England team and of this World Cup.  Photo The DL/Marc GREINER

Emily Scarratt is one of the stars of the England team and of this World Cup. Photo The DL/Marc GREINER

Emily Scarratt (England), towards a double?

The center (103 sels.) of the “Red Roses“, voted best player in the world in 2019, arrives in New Zealand at the age of 32 in top form, in an English team at the top of the world rankings and undefeated for 25 test matches.

World champion in 2014, she is competing in her third World Cup this year with the firm intention of winning it, after finishing that of 2017 in second place.

Portia Woodman.  Archives MAXPPP/Mark RALSTON

Portia Woodman. Archives MAXPPP/Mark RALSTON

Portia Woodman (New Zealand), star at 7 and at XV

The 31-year-old New Zealand winger of Maori origin is as comfortable in rugby sevens as in fifteens. She has won the World Cup twice (2013 and 2018) as well as two Olympic medals (silver at Rio-2016, gold at Tokyo-2020) in rugby sevens and she is the reigning world champion with the « Black Fernsin XV.

As a little girl, she dreamed of beingJonah Lomu as a woman“, after seeing his compatriot dominate the rugby world at the 1995 World Cup.

Elected best player in the world at VII in 2015, she obtained the same distinction at XV in 2017 and joined the Fifteen of the Year 2017 of the Planet Rugby newspaper, the only woman among fourteen men.

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