International Women's Day: Rugby World Cup winner Rachael Burford reveals her life-long inspiration

Burford playing for England in 2017 (PA Images)
Burford playing for England in 2017 (PA Images)
13:39pm, Sun 08 Mar 2020
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Harlequins captain and Rugby World Cup winner Rachael Burford has said her life-long inspiration is her mother.

"It is a cliche, but my mum is a huge role model and someone I've looked up to all my life. How she works so hard, never gives up, when I was younger, growing up, she was always there."

Burford was speaking ahead of International Women's Day and, apart from her mother Ren, she also highlighted other inspirational women in the world of sport.

Burford, left, with her mother Ren and sister Louise

"The fact that so many women are visible is just crazy. Growing up, my role models were only ever male and now you see women on the TV all the time. 

"For me in my profession, in sport, there's Gabby Logan, Alex Scott and Clare Balding. They commentate on men and women's sport and have broken down a lot of barriers to do so. 

"Serena Williams will also be someone who is popular on most people's lists. In line with her sporting achievement, it's the work she has put into things and how she has been prepared to stand up for herself, whether it's popular or not. 

"That's something I pride myself on. I'll say what I think and I think it's from watching role models like that."

Burford plays for Harlequins at club level and was quick to point out that Quins support the women's team all year-round - particularly with their Game Changer event.

Quins drive the Game Changer match every year as the staple event in their women's rugby calendar. This year they will play Wasps on April 11 in the fixture and they are hoping for a record crowd.

"The Game Changer - we host that as our women's day, we're changing the game, we're trying to go for a record crowd. We can't rely on International Women's Day [alone].

"It's great that we have it and the exposure is great but what are you doing the rest of the year to drive and promote women's sport? Women in business? Women in general?

"It's [the game] a celebration of women, it's about bringing as many people into The Stoop to enjoy the game but also to be part of changing history and being a 'Game Changer'.

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