Danielle Waterman retires from international rugby

England full-back Danielle ‘Nolli’ Waterman has announced her retirement from Test rugby, bringing an end to an illustrious international career.

Waterman won eighty-two caps for her country and scored a record 47 tries, won a World Cup and countless Six Nations trophies, including the Grand Slam last year, and lost only one Six Nations game in her entire career.

But the statistics only tell half the story. Waterman was, quite simply, one of the greatest players ever to pull on the white shirt of England, either male or female. She was the complete player – fast and elusive with a lethal sidestep, and a ferocious tackler, but it was her attitude that endeared her to me. She was always one of the smaller players on the pitch, but she was probably the toughest. Every single time she took the ball into contact she would fight tooth and nail to stay on her feet, to keep moving forward. She was a nightmare to tackle, not just because she was so fleet-footed, but because she was so determined to keep going, no matter how many defenders were hanging onto her; she just would not give up.

“It has been an incredible journey and a true honour to be a Red Rose for the past 15 years,” said Waterman.

“Its been a huge privilege to have not only played alongside and against some of the best players in the world, but to have been part of the huge development and progression of women’s international rugby to date.”

Waterman has certainly done her bit for the development of the women’s game, and while I will miss watching her play for the Red Roses, I hope she has a long and happy retirement.

I wrote a piece analysing Waterman’s many skills last year – you can read it here.

 

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