England women’s triumphant win on Sunday in the Rugby World Cup Final over Canada has been praised by Sport England after they secured their first World Cup title in 20 years.
England ended a run of three successive final defeats to finally win the coveted prize with a 21-9 win over Canada in Paris on Sunday.
Sport England is investing £750,000 over two years (April 2013 to March 2015) to support the England women’s squad in preparation for the World Cup, in addition to the £1.05m invested into Rugby Football Union’s (RFU) England Women’s elite programme since April 2009.
Sport England’s investment has been used to support key high performance staff including coaches, domestic training camps, international competition programme and, sports science and sports medicine provision.
Sport England’s Chief Executive Jennie Price said: “I’m so pleased for the team. They showed great skill and determination and thoroughly deserved their success. This victory is a powerful demonstration of how far women’s rugby has progressed in England, and Sport England is very pleased to have supported them on that journey.”
Through Sport England’s whole sport plan funding, the RFU is investing £4m to develop the women and girl’s talent pathway, which aims to nurture and develop young talent at county and divisional level, supporting the England age group squads at under 15, under 18 and under 20 level.
Nicky Ponsford, RFU’s Head of Performance for Women’s Rugby, acknowledged the importance of Sport England’s support for the elite programme in recent years: “The Sport England funding has been a major contributing factor in our World Cup success and enabled us to provide a high quality support programme to the elite squad in recent years. Increased contact time with the players over the last 12 months has in particular made a significant difference.”
Gary Street head coach of England women's national team said: "The support we've had from the RFU has been absolutely staggering, and from Sport England, so that the team behind the team has been huge and to have a bigger programme has meant we can do more work with more players."