Field Theory by Hadyn Green

50

An important message for aspiring sportswomen

Just in case you women needed reminding, don't bother playing sport. You're no good at it and your accomplishments mean nothing.

Play your heart out and be the darlings of the nation for as brief a period as there is between stories about cricket injuries. Play for little to no money while you study, work and have children but please do not expect recognition, not from the public, not from the media, not from your peers.

Your world championships are dull and you should realise this as they are never on television and never reported intensely the next day. Though we do enjoy underfunding you enough that "why don't we do a nude calendar" comes up as a fundraising idea, it's much more seemly than tucking dollars into a garter.

While you may be the dominant force in your chosen sport, really, how hard is it to beat girls?

And that one time, that one night we shared together, sure I made a lot of noise at the time, and we had a great time, but c'mon baby, you knew it was just a one-time deal.

We are required to have an annual award for women only, where you might be remembered, but if not we'll just pick a woman at random to win. Probably one we have picked before because we've heard her name and she always does well, right?

In the rugby world we are often stopped in our tracks by a great try, great match or great tournament. You think back over the last 20 years and there’s Jonah Lomu smashing through the England team in 1995, Sir Clive Woodward lifting the World Cup in 2003 or Dan Carter destroying the Lions in 2005, before masterminding a European Grand Slam for New Zealand.

Joining these world-tilting events in 2010 was the Women’s Rugby World Cup, a tournament that left an indelible mark on anyone who saw a game, whether on TV or at one of the two venues.

Never before has a tournament outside of a Rugby World Cup captured the imagination of the rugby public as this Women’s Rugby World Cup did and it could be the most significant event in the history of the Women’s Game.

An incredible crowd of more than 13,000 saw the final between hosts England and defending champions New Zealand, which was without question the best game of Women’s Rugby ever staged. And those 13,000 didn’t pay a token £5. There was no ‘buy one ticket get two free’ offers. These 13,000 paid upwards of £20 a seat or used their £60 tournament pass and created one of the best atmospheres experienced at the Twickenham Stoop in recent years.

When England wing Charlotte Barras scored her side’s only try in the second half the ear-splitting noise was louder than anything I had experienced at the ground in 20 years of covering matches there.

- Paul Morgan on the 2010 Women's Rugby World Cup

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