Rugby union in 2014: 10 memorable moments

Robert Kitson on the best, worst and most controversial moments in rugby union this year
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As the estimable Katy McLean made clear during the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year awards, England’s victory in the women’s Rugby World Cup was a ground-breaking achievement. For a start England had been beaten in the previous three finals and had decided, to quote McLean, that “we couldn’t allow that to happen again”. The standard of rugby in the entire competition was also a significant step up and England’s 21-9 win over Canada in the final in Paris led to 20 players being awarded professional contracts by the Rugby Football Union. Interest will continue to rise with women’s sevens featuring in the 2016 Rio Olympics. It is hard to argue with McLean’s view that 2014 has been “a massive turning point for women’s sport”.

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