Amber Reed was a Sports Scholar at the University of Exeter.

World Cup Glory for Amber Reed

It has been a week to remember for former University of Exeter Sports Scholar Amber Reed who, alongside her England teammates, triumphed at the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

England, who had been runners-up for the last three tournaments, took the title in style defeating Canada 21-9 at the Stade Jean Bouin in Paris on 17 August.

Amber, who captained the University of Exeter Women’s Rugby Club to British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) National Championship victory in 2013, helped the side to a 45-5 win against Spain in the group stages.

England dominated the tournament, dropping only 38 points throughout and scoring 184. The side opened their campaign with a 65-3 victory over Samoa, before defeating Spain 45-5 and drawing 13-13 with Canada in the group stages. The side continued their exquisite form defeating Ireland 40-7 in the semi-finals, before beating Canada to claim the title for the first time in a two decades.

Amber commented: “It is all still a bit surreal at the moment and hard to adjust to real life again. It has been an incredible journey over the last few months and for some of the girls a lifetime of rugby all came down to 80 minutes. This World Cup has been the most competitive one to date with so many teams playing some great rugby and creating a spectacle of women's rugby for all supporters to enjoy. The French held a fantastic tournament with both the pool and knockout stages being viewed by many.

“From an England perspective we have waited 20 years to emulate the success of the 1994 team. We have felt the most prepared we ever had done and it was up to us to perform on the pitch. Our greatest strength was the depth in our squad and with each performance we grew throughout the tournament.

“It is an incredible feeling to be a world champion and I would not have wished to share that moment with anyone else than my 25 fellow players and the staff team that were on the pitch that night.

“I am very grateful for all the opportunities and support I have had throughout my career. I have had several fantastic rugby and S&C coaches who have helped me be the player I am today.”

Women’s rugby is supported by the University of Exeter’s High Performance Programme and has enjoyed notable success. The side were crowned BUCS national champions in 2013 and also won the 2014 Rugby 7s championships.

University of Exeter women’s performance rugby coach, and former England captain, Jo Yapp explained her delight at seeing Amber progress this far. She said: “There is no feeling like competing for your country at a world cup, and be part of a winning team is a privilege experienced by few.

“As a Rugby Scholar at the University Amber always stood out as a model player and superb leader, I couldn’t be happier for her.”

Date: 22 August 2014