02 November 2020

England rugby head coach Simon Middleton wants more competition in the women’s game

England may have won back-to-back Women’s Six Nations titles last night but head coach Simon Middleton would have liked to have seen multiple teams going for victory on Super Saturday.

The Red Roses ran away with the title this year, but Middleton, who is in charge of the only professional team in the tournament, said it would be ‘fantastic’ if there was more competition in the women’s game.

He said: "It is challenging for us. It would be absolutely fantastic if every union could do what we're doing. We have made a real statement about where we see the women's game.

"It is a priority for us as an organisation. We would love to be able to have a Saturday when you have got three teams going for the title and you are staying up late. It was brilliant."

Wasps star Ellie Kildunne shone yesterday as she scored in her first game for England since 2018. She had been playing sevens rugby until the Rugby Football Union cut the programme this summer and so she switched back to 15s.

Middleton added he wants Kildunne and other sevens stars to realise their Olympic dream.

"It is sad what is happening with the sevens programme. I suppose what the sevens have lost the 15s have gained but at the end of the day there are players on that field who have worked unbelievably hard to get to the Olympics and I want them to fulfil that dream.

"I have been lucky enough to go and I know what it is like. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I hope it all gets sorted and we can get them playing and we'll have them back with six weeks left [between the Olympics and World Cup] and if they're good enough to make the squad, they'll make the squad."

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