Female rugby players have taken the sports scene by storm, making record performances and claiming awards as they put out their best. Do you know who the best female rugby player is? This expansive list contains women from different countries who have stood out.
Rugby was previously a male-dominated sport, a phenomenon that has changed over the years. Today, more women have taken up that space, levelling out the field and sometimes attaining even more than their male counterparts. Discover the best female rugby players and their various career achievements right here.
Best female rugby players
Several countries have seen women participate in rugby, giving rise to the Women's Rugby World Cup, among other competitions. Here are the best female rugby players from different countries globally:
10. Natasha 'Mo' Hunt
Natasha, whose nickname is Mo, is one of the England female rugby players standing at five feet and five inches. Currently, she plays for Gloucester-Hartpury and England as a scrum half, and Mo has also represented Great Britain in Rugby Sevens.
The athlete was born on 21st March 1989 and previously played with Bristol and Lichfield. She has received several accolades for her prowess, including a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and also won the World Cup with England in 2014.
Unknown to many, Hunt is also a trained teacher. She also makes occasional media appearances and previously co-hosted the Nick and Mo show with Nick Heath during the Six Nations. Natasha is also a rugby commentator on BBC.
9. Rochelle Amy Clark
Rochelle is one of the famous female rugby players of English ancestry. She is five feet, eight inches and played for the Wasps. She represented England in the 2006, 2010, 2914, and 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup.
Clark made history in 2018 when she reached 137 caps, making her the most-capped English player in international history. Today, Rochelle is a rugby coach and was appointed a member of the Order of British Empire (MBE) in 2015 for her contributions to the sport.
8. Margaret Alphonsi
Margaret was born in South London, England, on December 20, 1983. She played for the Saracens at the World Rugby Football Club (W.R.F.C) until she retired in 2014. As she is sometimes known, Maggie was born with clubfoot but overcame the odds to become a top player worldwide.
In 2010, Margaret was named the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year and was then appointed to the MBE in 2012. She was also the Rugby World Cup ambassador in 2015.
In November 2016, she was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame at the first physical ceremony in Rugby, Warwickshire. Alphonsi's height is five feet and four inches, and she is widely involved in charitable activities, supporting organizations like Sporting Equals and Wooden Spoon.
7. Charlotte Caslick
Charlotte is one of the top Australian female rugby players. She was born on March 9, 1995, in Brisbane, Australia. The player joined her country's national rugby club in 2013 after graduating from high school in May of the same year.
In 2015, Caslick was one of the four international rugby players nominated for the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year. The following year was significant in her career as she led the national Women's Rugby Sevens team to win a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
This medal saw Australia become the first-ever gold-winning country. In addition, Charlotte was named Australia's Women's National Rugby Sevens player of the year.
6. Enya Breen
Enya, born on April 23, 1999, is one of the best Irish female rugby players. The 23-year-old was born in Cork, Ireland and started playing with several junior rugby clubs. In 2019, she bagged the Energia National League's Rising Star award.
Currently, Breen is a student at the University of Limerick pursuing Physiotherapy and plays for the UL Bohemians in Munster and the Ireland women's national rugby union team. As a teenager, the athlete played for the Munster Under-18 Development squad and the Ireland Under-18 Sevens.
Her debut as a senior came in 2019 when she played in the fourth round of the 2019 Women's Six Nations Championship. She also played in 2020 and 2021.
5. Portia Woodman
Portia was born on July 12, 1991, and is one of the best New Zealand female rugby players. She currently plays for the New Zealand Women’s Sevens team. Previously, she played netball for the Northern Mystics and started playing rugby in 2012.
In 2013, she debuted with the Black Ferns. Portia is five feet and seven inches tall. She won the rugby World Cup in Russia and has other medals in the Tokyo Olympics (2020), Commonwealth Games and the Rugby World Cup Sevens.
In 2020, Portia was named the decade's top women’s sevens player. She made history in 2022 when she scored her 200th try in the World Sevens Series.
4. Zenay Jordaan
Zenay Jordaan is one of the leading South African female rugby players, born on April 4, 1991. She took up the love for the game from her father, a former rugby star. Zenay started playing as a young girl and was the only girl who played the game in her primary school.
Today, Jordaan has featured in two Rugby World Cups, three Rugby World Cup Sevens, and in the 15-a-side World Cup held in New Zealand in 2021.
Unknown to many, Zenay was training to be a firefighter, an opportunity she gave up after becoming a professional player with the Springbok Sevens camp. She is currently the player in the team with the highest caps (35).
3. Lauren Doyle
Lauren is a female rugby player from the USA born on February 23, 1991, in Springfield, Illinois. She is one of the top players who joined the American national rugby team in 2012. Doyle won a silver medal at the 2015 Pan-American games.
Additionally, she represented her country at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2022, Lauren was the captain of the U.S. Eagles Sevens team at the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town, South Africa.
2. Magali Harvey
Canadian rugby player Magali Harvey is among the top female rugby players. She was born in Canada on August 16, 1990, and the athlete started playing at 18 while a St. Francis Xavier University student.
Harvey represented her country at the Women's Rugby World Cup in 2014. That same year, she became the first Canadian to win the IRB (International Rugby Board) women's player award. In 2015, she bagged a gold medal at the Pan American Games.
According to Total Shape.com, Magali is the best-looking female rugby player, with a height of five feet and five inches. She is currently a member of the Canadian national women's rugby team.
1. Kendra Margaret Cocksedge
Kendra, one of the best female rugby players, was born in New Zealand on July 1, 1988, and is a retired rugby player and cricketer. She currently works as a Women's Rugby Development Manager in New Zealand and is in charge of the Crusaders region.
Margaret started playing as a teenager and was part of the New Zealand national women's team in 2010 when they won the Women's Rugby World Cup. The athlete has also played for the Black Ferns and Cantebury at the provincial level in high school.
Her exceptional play strategy and strength put her on top of the list as she inspires upcoming players even in retirement. In 2015, Kendra received the New Zealand Women’s Player of the Year award after becoming the top point scorer at the Women's Rugby Super Series.
These female rugby players have left a significant mark in their area of influence, encouraging more women to take up the sport and thrive in it. Rugby fans will be on the lookout for what these stars accomplish as their careers continue growing.
READ ALSO: Ranked! The top 15 richest rugby players in the world
Sportsbrief published an article ranking the highest-earning rugby players in the world. They have amassed assets and fame courtesy of the game and are recognized for their prowess on the pitch. Who are some of them?
British player Paul Caddick tops the list with a net worth of $225 million. He is followed by Sir Tony O'Reilly, of Irish origin, who is worth approximately $180 million. Follow the link above and read all about these rich rugby players.