The history of women’s rugby could be lost forever without better records, worries World Cup winner Tamara Taylor. writes Milly McEvoy.
The 40-year-old, now in her 17th year playing high-level club rugby, admitted she had no idea of the appearance milestones she might pass along the way.
But Taylor’s biggest concern isn’t personal acknowledgment — it’s the inadvertent erasure of those who came before it.
“I’ve always been quite annoyed that we’ve never kept very good records in the women’s club game,” said the England and Saracens lock.
“There are a lot of people and a lot of different sources that are doing that now to get that information into the public domain, that’s really cool.
“I think my only concern when I look at it is that I don’t want people to be forgotten.
“The girls who played for England when I started, because there aren’t any decent records, it’s almost like they’ve never been there.
“And I just think it’s really important that we keep a hinge on what our history is, and those stories need to be told because the media wasn’t telling them at the time.”
Taylor first played rugby at Henley Rugby Club when he was 15, before spending 14 years with top club Thirsk, now based in Darlington as DMP Durham Sharks.
After leaving the Sharks after being relegated from her role as player-head coach, she recently returned to the North East on loan with the club struggling at the bottom of the Allianz Premier 15s – DMP have lost nine of their ten games this season with at least 59 points.
Taylor was back in the black from her parent club Saracens on Jan. 9 when the Sharks succumbed to a 104-0 loss.
The result shed light on the issues DMP faces both on and off the pitch. it’s nothing stop please!
“For our mental health, because that really matters.
“Please stop the online abuse.”
The RFU has since established a North East Rugby Task Force, which is heeding Taylor’s call for increased support for the region.
She said: “Honestly I never thought I would play for DMP again. I just never thought I’d put that shirt back on.
“For me it’s always about the players, the most important part of rugby is the girls I play with and they asked for help and I didn’t really hesitate.
“My top priority has always been to have a performance-level team in the Northeast. I think it’s very important that girls in the area have a place to play, a place where they want to play and not have to move and constantly leave the area and go south.
“My big concern is that there wouldn’t be a team here.
“All I can see is that the results are not great, just like everyone else, but I think you have to look at the support that has been given to those girls.
“It’s very easy to say that not all players play very well. But there are some very good players in that playgroup and there are some young girls with a lot of potential. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I think it would be interesting to find out.”