Women’s Super League: ‘We didn’t play rugby at school’ – Wigan Warriors’ Anna Davies joy at Women’s RL progress | Rugby League News
As part of her job, Anna Davies helps create opportunities for girls to play rugby, which she didn’t have growing up.
Working for the Wigan Warriors’ Community Foundation by day and playing for Cherry and Whites in the Betfred Women’s Super League by night, the 27-year-old is seeing more and more girls keen on taking up the sport in the town and its surroundings.
It wasn’t until Davies attended Bath University that the Nottingham-born former sprint hurdler was introduced to rugby through her friends, but she sees firsthand how embraced the women’s game is in the schools from one of the 13-a-side code nurseries.
Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors
July 21, 2022, 5:00 p.m.
“I refereed a grade 10 girls school game and for me that’s amazing because where I grew up we didn’t really play rugby at school and those girls really went, which was fantastic,” Davies said. Sky sports.
“Some of the girls were mascots for our next game then, so I would come out holding hands with one of the girls I was refereeing the day before. It’s really exciting and now the older girls in the academy can see this way and there is more and more enthusiasm that being a rugby player could be a career.
“We’re not there yet, but some of the girls are talking about it and they can see it, and we have the links with the schools.
“Then among the younger girls there’s just an excitement that they can play rugby and there are clubs to send them to. It’s just nice to see them excited about the sport and to have the chance to try.”
It’s not inconceivable that some of these girls could soon be playing alongside Davies as teammates, although one person she’ll soon have on the pitch with her is her new roommate.
France international Laureane Biville lives with Davies after moving to Wigan for the second half of the Women’s Super League season to help her prepare for the Rugby League World Cup in November.
Named player of the match in France’s 36-10 loss to England last month, the 23-year-old center or second line adds another dimension to an already cosmopolitan Warriors squad that includes United States international Taylor White and former rugby players like Davies and Freya Hellin.
They go hand in hand with those steeped in the league like England international Vicky Molyneaux, whose father Jim also played for the Wigan men’s side from 1968 to 1972, as well as granddaughters Beth Hayes and Sophie Clarke. from RFL match official Keith Leyland and iconic Wigan player and coach Colin Clarke respectively.
Summary of last month’s game between England women and France women.
Davies, who has moved to center in recent games after playing on the wing until this year, is already learning from Biville and his experiences playing on the international stage and Australia’s NRLW for Gold Coast Titans, but knows that his guest is equally eager to embrace his new surroundings.
“Laureane was saying she wanted to encourage French players and show that it’s something you can do as a woman to change countries and develop as a player, and have that different experience as well,” Davies said. .
“She’s a pioneer in that area and, for me, there aren’t many people who have moved to the country to play rugby. But I think that’s the excitement that the league attracts and if we can do this, it may help show others that this is an opportunity and adds to the culture of the club.
“Coming here as an outsider means adapting to fit into the culture of the club, but also bringing with you your own culture that you can share with others.
“I’m sure with us Laureane will be such a benefit for us to get a glimpse of the way she plays, but she’s also very studious in learning what the culture of Wigan is like and that rewards the hard work a lot. .”
As well as making it known that rugby league is open to women and girls in her work, Davies and her Warriors team-mates will showcase the Women’s Super League to the world on Thursday night when they take on Leeds Rhinos at Headingley, live on sky sports.
The game is part of a double-header with both clubs’ men’s sides and will see Wigan aim to bounce back from the 48-10 loss to the Rhinos – a game in which Davies was among the try scorers – in their last released on July 3.
Regular televising and online streaming of Women’s Super League matches is another sign of the competition’s progress in the build-up to the World Cup, but the next step to help it get going would undoubtedly be professionalization. in one form or another.
Highlights of the Women’s Super League match between St Helens and Leeds Rhinos broadcast on Sky Sports in June.
At present, it remains an amateur competition, but Davies thinks it won’t be long before that changes.
“At the moment what is driving the performance is the other,” said Davies, who is inspired to improve by seeing the levels reached by St Helens and England star Amy Hardcastle. . “We encourage each other, but we are going to need help from outside to continue to increase these levels.
“At the moment everyone is juggling education and work, and maybe even childcare, to the point where we all have limited capacity.
“We can all push our levels, but we can only push them until people start breaking. If you do that level of training, you have to have the rest.
“That might not happen in our generation, but I think we will and the things we’re doing today are hopefully paving that way for girls.”
Watch Leeds take on Wigan in the Women’s Super League in Thursday’s double-header at Headingley live on Sky Sports Arena from 5pm (kick-off 5.30pm).