the five players to watch at the World Cup

The center (103 caps) of the « Red Roses », voted best player in the world in 2019, arrives in New Zealand at 32 in top form, with an English team at the top of the world rankings and undefeated since 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.

The one who could have made a career in basketball (she measures 1.81 m and had been approached as a teenager by an American university) was captain of the English septists at Rio-2016.

Portia Woodman, star at VII and 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 Ferns” in XV.

As a little girl, she dreamed of being « Jonah Lomu as a woman », after seeing her 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.

Laure Sansus is 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.

Arabella McKinzie, inspiring youth

Arabella McKenzie, barely out of her teens, made her debut in 2019 for Australia’s Wallaroos rugby team, two years after helping her country win sevens gold at the Commonwealth Games in the youth.

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 in us hardworking and determined women who never give up in the face of adversity”.

Zintle Mpupha, 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 university, she went to the XV but her choice made her doubt: « After each training session, I said to myself ‘I’m not good enough, I don’t deserve to be here' ».

Laisser un commentaire