England’s Packer named World Rugby player of year

England’s WXV-winning captain Marlie Packer has been named World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year for 2023.

Packer claimed the award ahead of team-mate Abby Dow, France centre Gabrielle Vernier and New Zealand fly-half Ruahei Demant, who won the prize in 2022.

The Saracens back row, 34, led England to a Six Nations Grand Slam in April.

That was followed by the inaugural WXV1 title, which was secured with a 33-12 victory over world champions New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday.

Packer, who won her 99th England cap in that match, is one of seven England players named in World Rugby’s Dream Team.

She is joined by fellow forwards Lark Atkin-Davies, Sarah Bern, Zoe Aldcroft and Alex Matthews, with full-back Ellie Kildunne and winger Dow also included.

New Zealand’s Katelyn Vahaakolo was named Breakthrough Player of the Year, an award for which Scotland winger Francesca McGhie was also nominated.

Source: BBC