Packer taregting world domination after Grand Slam success
Marlie Packer set her sights on a sold-out Twickenham and World Cup triumph for 2025 after the Red Roses roared to Grand Slam glory against France.
Captain Packer made a whopping 26 tackles as England held off a French fightback to win 38-33 at the home of English rugby and clinch the TikTok Women’s Six Nations title.
After 58,498 people descended on Twickenham to watch the Red Roses complete a clean sweep, Packer laid out her ambitions for the World Cup in 2025.
“I’m so proud,” said Packer. “I got interviewed in the week and I can remember a couple hundred people and a dog watching us but to sell over 58,000, it's been absolutely incredible.
“The crowd was with us every step of the way and it's been amazing. I hope you all want to come back and watch us because we're only growing as a squad.
“In 2025 the World Cup is here at Twickenham and we will sell it out and we want to be world champions.”
England ran riot in the first half against France, scoring five tries in a ruthless 25-minute spell before Les Bleues rolled up their sleeves and picked up two bonus-points for their second-half efforts.
Victory clinched a fourth Grand Slam in five years for England and Packer lauded the entire squad for helping the side to another Championship success.
“The girls put everything out there today,” she said. “I'm super proud of this squad, every player has played a part to get us to this Grand Slam, it's amazing.”
“France came at us after half time, they did in the first half as well in the first 15 minutes or so.
“We knew we were going to have a tough day, a tough game on our hands, they've grown over the tournament and full credit to them they played to literally the 80th minute and kept on asking questions of us.
“They've been amazing and thanks to them for such an epic game.”
The final whistle brought Simon Middleton’s time as Red Roses head coach to an end.
Middleton, who was assistant coach when England claimed the World Cup in 2014, bowed out of the top job with a sixth Women’s Six Nations title.
Skipper Packer paid tribute to the departing Middleton following England’s victory, hailing his lasting legacy.
“He's been amazing,” she added. “He's been around for a decade now and not just what he's brought to the Red Roses and women's rugby has just been amazing.”
The Player of the Match award went to Packer’s flanker partner, Sadia Kabeya.
The 21-year-old delivered a typically all-action performance, making 102 metres from 14 carries, a figure only topped by Helena Rowland, while also weighing in with 20 tackles.
Speaking after her virtuoso display, Kabeya said she is relishing the opportunity to be front and centre of a hugely exciting time for the Red Roses.
“The only way is up, there's no ceiling for us,” she said. “The way that we've developed over the last year and with all the talent coming through, the sky's the limit for us.
“It’s absolutely amazing to be Grand Slam champions, it's been an absolutely amazing tournament and it all came together against France and we've got the result.”
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