Following the nail-biting finish to the 2022 TikTok Women's Six Nations at the sold-out Jean Dauger stadium in Bayonne between England and France on Saturday 30th April 2022, we wanted to take a look back at a memorable figure from past England-France games. One incredible player stood out -Maxine Edwards.
Edwards was the first Red Roses captain to lead her side out onto the pitch at Twickenham. At the time, Edwards commented "Looking from where I started, 13 years ago, I'd never have thought we'd have been playing at Twickenham." The match against France during the 2003 Six Nations campaign marked the breaking of a new frontier for the Red Roses in response to the incredible growth in support for women's rugby around the turn of the century. In England, national lottery funding had begun to support several of the elite playing squad to cover the costs of physically playing the game, such as training, equipment, and physio, but all the players had to have another source of income to live on. Edwards was a qualified electrician and former business analyst but had just applied for teacher training when she found out she was going to be England captain.