Following the conclusion of the the inaugural WXV competition, the women’s World Rugby awards were announced, with an overwhelming inclusion of players from both finalists, England and New Zealand.
The Black Ferns found themselves on the end of a revenge plot for last year’s World Cup victory, as they found themselves steamrolled in a 12-33 loss to England in the final in Auckland on Saturday.
The strength of both these sides dwarf the likes of France and Canada who sit behind them in the world rankings. As such, 13 out of the 15 players that have made the Women’s 15’s Dream Team of the Year hail from these countries.
Check out the players who have been selected as the best in their positions:
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) November 4, 2023
Marlie Packer, the captain of England’s WXV-winning team, has also been honoured as the World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year for 2023. She secured this prestigious accolade, besting her fellow team mate Abby Dow, as well as France’s center Gabrielle Vernier and New Zealand’s fly-half Ruahei Demant.
Speaking to BBC Sport she said, “Me getting player of the year is credit to the rest of the players, I can’t do my job without them,” said Packer, who scored a world-leading 11 international tries in 2023.
“It means everything. Last season I thought was my season for it, I felt like I had a great season last year and when I wasn’t anywhere near it, I was gutted.
“So to be nominated this season meant everything.
“I don’t get my hopes up, I just make sure I put a good performance out because it’s about the team, and you never know when it’s going to be your last time in a white shirt so you’ve got to give your best performance.
“Winning my 99th cap, winning the WXV and winning World Player of the Year – I don’t think tonight can be topped off any time soon.”