Fast, brutal and a sense of joy: how women’s rugby is winning over New Zealand

With sellout crowds and a spot in the World Cup final, New Zealand’s Black Ferns are bringing new fans to the sport

Moments after the Black Ferns secured their place in the Rugby World Cup final, super-fan and rugby commentator, Alice Soper posted a video of her tear-streaked face to social media. Soper was overcome – not just because the nail-biting final minute could have gone either way for the New Zealand women’s team, but because the Black Ferns’ win represented something much greater.

“I was crying about women’s rugby winning, because I knew we needed to have the Black Ferns in the final for [the tournament] to be a spectacle, and to have the opportunity to the put the biggest show on in town,” Soper says.

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