‘Women’s Six Nations has added buzz’ – Hunter

Date published: January 26 2017

Red Roses captain Sarah Hunter thinks the 2017 Women’s Six Nations will have an added spice due to it being a World Cup year.

The Red Roses begin their tournament campaign against defending champions France, on 4 February, and Hunter is excited by the prospect of playing on the hallowed turf.

"We love playing at Twickenham, the home of English rugby," Hunter told the RFU website. 

"It adds that buzz around the team when we know we have a game there, and there is no better team to play than France."

This year, the Red Roses’ fixtures have drawn broadcaster’s attention and all five of their matches will be shown to a live television audience – an arrangement Hunter believes is a huge step in the right direction for the women’s game.

"This Six Nations will now be about how far we can push that boundary and see just what level we can get to."

"Not only is it showcasing how far the game has come," she said. "But it is also inspiring that next generation of girls who can see there is an international team that can act as a role model. I think that is just as important."

England's women enjoyed a successful November Series, dampened only by a 20-25 loss to New Zealand Black Ferns, and Hunter believes it was an opportunity to find out where the Red Roses were in the pecking order.

The 31-year-old’s squad has been bolstered by the reintegration of the Sevens-contracted players and Hunter admits it is like they were never away.

"The girls that went to Rio were back in November," she said. "It felt like the squad had been together all through Rio, on and off the field, the gelling in the squad is fantastic and it’s good to have them back."

Hunter, who was voted World Rugby’s women’s player of the year in 2016, says the team has progressed throughout the autumn and is now in a good place ahead of the Six Nations.  

"This Six Nations will now be about how far we can push that boundary and see just what level we can get to."