Maggie Alphonsi

Maggie Alphonsi MBE represented England 74 times helping win seven Six Nations crowns.

Most recently she was a crucial member of the team that won the 2014 Rugby World Cup for the first time in 20 years and was part of the team that was crowned the BBC's Sports Personality Team of the Year Before before announcing her international retirement in 2014.

Through her England rugby career she has become a household rugby name but also a media professional, commentating on live rugby matches for SKY Sports and the BBC, as well as featuring on a number of national media platforms, including outlets as diverse as the Sunday Times, Stella Magazine, the Sun and BBC's Children in Need (Gareth Malone's All Star Choir).

Most recently, she was part of ITV's Rugby World Cup stellar broadcast line-up, and her inclusion in this line-up made her the first ever former female player to commentate on men's international rugby.

What inspired you to start playing rugby?

My female PE teacher at secondary school inspired me to play rugby. I use to get into a lot of trouble at school, to the point where I almost got excluded. My PE teacher suggested I give the sport a go as she also played rugby (she was the Wales women's captain!) It was a great way to divert my energies into something good!

First Rugby club?

My first and only club was Saracens. It became my second home.

Who was your childhood hero?

I didn't really have any heroes growing up. I always wanted to be the one that inspired others. If I did have anyone to look up to then it was Denise Lewis because she came from a similar background to me and went on to achieve so much.

What do you love most about rugby?

I love the camaraderie the sport brings. You really do feel like you are playing with your best mates and that you support and encourage them in everything they do. 

I also love the freedom that the sport gives you. It's a sport with no restrictions and I love that it's a sport for all. Whatever size and shape you are there is a role for you.

What has your sport taught you?

My sport has taught me to be humble and grounded what ever level or how ever big you become.

What's been your favourite career moment?

My favourite career moments to date are both World Cup finals in 2010 and 2014. Despite the loss, the 2010 women's world cup final was amazing. To have the home crowd and so much media focus on us was truly unforgettable. Then in 2014 winning the Women's Rugby World Cup in Paris was the ultimate high as myself it was a goal that I had been chasing for 11 years of my life.

My favourite career moments to date are both World Cup finals in 2010 and 2014. Despite the loss, the 2010 women's world cup final was amazing. To have the home crowd and so much media focus on us was truly unforgettable. Then in 2014 winning the Women's Rugby World Cup in Paris was the ultimate high as myself it was a goal that I had been chasing for 11 years of my life.

If you hadn't been a sportswoman, what would you have been?

I would have been a musician as I thoroughly loved playing the acoustic and electric guitar. I had a genuine love for music and the arts.

What other sports do you take part in and how good would you say you were?

I used to compete in athletics and I was a thrower. I use to concentrate on throwing the Shot Put and Discus. I was pretty decent. I am also a bit of road cyclist but it's a sport I partake in when I have some spare time. I use to play football too but not to a serious level.

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