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The Women's Sports Alliance


Megan Jones – ‘I want my legacy to be inspiring young girls to play rugby’

Megan Jones is the Welsh-born England rugby star who has won honours in both sevens and the XVs format of the game, but who now has her eyes firmly set on a major honour with Great Britain.

Image courtesy of Sam Mellish / Team GB

She played in England’s World Cup final defeat to New Zealand in 2017 before helping her nation to Commonwealth bronze the following year in Australia.

The 26-year-old secured a maiden Women’s Six Nations title with England in 2021 before an “agonising” fourth-place finish with Team GB at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Later this month Megan will look to help the British women achieve a first European Games title in Poland; which would secure them a place at Paris 2024 and provide a change for Olympic redemption.

“Each game we look to get better,” she tells the Women’s Sports Alliance. “Each day we look to get better, as a team and as individuals.

“These are going to be big (European) Games for us and hopefully we can come back with a win.”


“I wasn’t your stereotypical girl, I was very boisterous, but through rugby and the community in the sport I found acceptance,” says GB Olympian Megan Jones.

As a child she was the “only girl in a male-dominated sport” but that only served as motivation for the youngster who “stuck around, cracked on” and proved that rugby is a “unique sport” for everyone.

“You’ve got an abundance of different characters, different body shapes, different sizes and I think that's the beauty of this of the game; it’s not that necessarily one narrative fits all,” she says with a smile.

‘Breaking the mould’ was part of her childhood and how adulthood. How many other Wales-born athletes do you know who ended up competing for England?

Image courtesy of Sam Mellish / Team GB


While it’s a decision which may seem at odds with tradition, there was good reason and reward in making such a switch, which was endorsed by her Welsh father.

“Growing up I never really thought playing internationally, I just played because I loved it,” she recalls.

“Someone from Wales actually came to watch me when I was about 10 or 11 and said there was an ‘opportunity there’ but we didn’t know what it looked like because the game wasn’t professional then and you kind of had to make your own way through the pathway.

“Some years later we went to a Six Nations game between Wales and England and we saw the calibre of the English players was far beyond that of the Welsh players.

“Even my dad said it to me at the time as well and my mum’s English, from Bristol which isn’t that far away from where I grew up, so I was eligible to play for either (nation).”

Fast-forward a few years and the initiation of a professional contracts within the English women’s game boosted prospects for female rugby players under the St George’s flag further.

“Despite being a proud very proud Welshman, my dad was like ‘this is the best opportunity for you,’ Megan recalls.

“I remember watching the 2014 World Cup final at home as the contracts came in and then three years later I was there playing myself in a World Cup final, so it was a crazy journey.”

“I'm a proud Welsh woman, but it's not about being patriotic about that, it’s the same with being English, it’s about representing my family, the patch on your chest and giving the best for whatever club you play for.”


Representing Great Britain does at least make any historic allegiances easier for her father.

“I actually bought him an English top and he unstitched the English badge before going to the pub, it was crazy but I say ‘whatever makes you happy,’ she recalls.

“My dad loves it (when representing Great Britain) because he can fully wear the kit without any comments!”

Image courtesy of Sam Mellish / Team GB


Funding for the XVs through the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and British Sevens team, through UK Sport, has transformed the women’s game.

Megan is delighted that there are now more opportunities for young girls to not only play the sport but carve out a career in it as well.

“It’s something I couldn't even imagine when I was younger, so to see it is a sensational,” she tells the WSA.

“I think role models is probably the biggest one you know, because as they say, ‘if you can't see it, you can't be it’ and I think that’s probably part of my legacy as well.

“Obviously through playing for England and now Great Britain, but my legacy is also inspiring young girls in Wales, to pick up the ball.

“I want to show that this is something you can enjoy and also do as a living.

“When I was younger, I think I came across two or three women that played rugby, all my other role models were male role models, so that’s part of my personal legacy as well.”


Megan was a travelling reserve for the Rio 2016 Games where the Team GB women finished fourth and while she played a key role in their Tokyo 2020 campaign, the squad again finished one place short of the podium.

Victory in Poland at the third edition of the European Games would ensure the British women have the chance to make it ‘third time lucky’ come the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“Looking back at Tokyo, we were a bit of a dark horse and no-one was really looking at us, whereas now people have got their eyebrows up a little bit more as they know we’ve had longer to gel as a team,” Megan insists.

“We were pretty distraught coming off Tokyo and a few of the team they were playing in Rio too, so we’ve all got this hunger in our stomachs.

“We like to push boundaries, make those big incremental gains and improve game by game as individuals and also as a group.

“The Olympics is special,” states the Commonwealth bronze medallist.

“We’re going to throw everything at it and getting there is what we’re all going to be focused on at the European Games, so it’s going to be an exciting event.”

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