In a groundbreaking moment for women’s rugby, France has launched their WXV campaign with a historic win over the Black Ferns, marking their first victory on New Zealand soil. The final whistle of the intense 18-17 match brought forth a wave of emotions, with captain Manaé Feleu describing the moment as nothing short of “amazing.”
At just 23 years old, Feleu, who spent several years at a secondary school in New Zealand, compared the emotional magnitude of this victory to winning a World Cup.
“It kinda did,” she admitted during her post-match media appearance at Sky Stadium in Wellington.
“The Black Ferns are a team that we have always held in high regard. Playing against the Black Ferns or the All Blacks is the pinnacle of rugby. New Zealand rugby is renowned as the best in the world. You essentially invented the sport, and you’ve always been at the top. So, competing against your team and securing a win on your home turf is an amazing accomplishment for us, and we’re incredibly grateful for that.”
This historic victory not only marks a significant milestone for France’s women’s rugby but also serves as a testament to the growing competitiveness and strength of women’s rugby on the global stage. The result is sure to inspire and motivate young female rugby players worldwide, as Feleu and her team pave the way for a new era in women’s sports. France’s win is more than just a triumph; it’s a statement that women’s rugby is thriving and ready to take its place in the spotlight.