The name of Maggie Alphonsi has become synonymous with women’s rugby during the last decade.
A glittering playing career as a hard-hitting flanker led to 74 caps for her country and a string of accolades which include the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year in 2010 and an induction into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2016.
Her impact in the sport could be no better illustrated than when she was given the Pat Marshall Award (Personality of the Year) from the Rugby Union Writers’ Club to become the first woman to win the prize in its 40-year history. She saw off the challenge of New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw in the process.
The skills to succeed
She retired from the sport in 2014 after becoming a World Cup winner with the national team and has stayed involved in rugby ever since, coaching and promoting the women’s game. She has worked as a TV commentator and pundit and says she is a huge advocate of the values that didi Rugby instills in young people.
“Rugby changed my life and gave me the skills to succeed,” she said.
“I support programmes like didi Rugby because they teach children crucial skills at a young age that will support their physical development.
“They also build character and instill values that will benefit them throughout life."