Ménager hails evolution in enthusiasm for women's rugby

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Only a few months have passed since Romane Ménager and her France teammates had to watch England carry off another Guinness Women’s Six Nations title.

However, Ménager is well aware that the hard work will soon begin again as Les Bleues chase their first Championship since 2018.

England’s 42-21 win over France in a winner-takes-all Round 5 clash in Bordeaux meant the Six Nations trophy stayed on the northern side of the Channel. Nonetheless, Ménager received recognition for her performances in the France number 8 shirt when she was named as part of the Guinness Player of the Championship four-player shortlist.

Ménager impressed with her powerful carrying, and she ended the Championship with a total of 52 carriers for 251.9 metres gained. She was also in France’s top five for successful tackles with 51 in the five matches she played.

She may have missed out to England fullback Ellie Kildunne for the prize, but it was recognition of the success France co-coaches Gaëlle Mignot and David Ortiz had in backing a young team, even if it means that at 27 Ménager and her twin sister and wing Marine are considered to be nearing veteran status.

“We are a young team with many talented and hard-working girls with a great desire to progress and grow together,” Ménager told us. “The more the tournaments progress, the more we enjoyed playing together. I think this is a good sign for the future years.

“Overall, the tournament was very positive, and we saw a real evolution from WXV1, and it was important for us to have a big tournament.

“We are aware that we still have time to work on our aim of winning the Six Nations in the coming seasons. It is a team that has no shortage of hard workers.”


Since France’s loss to England, Ménager has not had time to sit still. She and Marine helped their club Montpellier Herault to the Élite 1 Féminine championship play-offs, before falling at the quarter final stage to Blagnac.

Ménager has also featured for France’s sevens team in the Rugby Europe Championship Series. Alongside Lina Queyroi, France’s first-choice Six Nations fly-half, she helped the team reach the final at the Makarska leg in Croatia where they lost 12-10 to Poland.

She now has a few weeks off to enjoy a well-deserved break, but then it will be back to work with the France team as they build towards WXV1 that takes place in Canada over three consecutive weeks in September and October.

France will be aiming to improve on their display in 2023. While they began with a memorable 18-17 win over host France in Wellington, they then slipped to defeats to Canada and Australia.

However, Ménager is confident that the strides they took under 24-year-old captain Manae Feleu in the Six Nations means the team will be in better shape for the tournament that features matches across British Columbia.

“I had a lot of fun playing this year with the team and I really felt comfortable physically and mentally and I think that translated onto the pitch,” she said.

“Manae is a brilliant and intelligent player who has all the qualities to be a superb captain. It’s always a great pleasure to play with her. She was able to show all the qualities of a player and leader during the tournament.”


While France’s wait for the Championship title goes on, there is a definite feeling of positivity around women’s rugby in France.

France are leading the way, with co-coach Mignot telling reporters after the Guinness Women's Six Nations that “women’s rugby is on an upward trend, that’s obvious. We have the clear objective of improving everyone's skills. The French team will reap the benefits. We are very happy that the championship is also breaking records.”

The growing interest in women’s rugby was shown on the final day when over 28,000 watched the Championship showdown at Bordeaux Stade Chaban-Delmas.

“It’s a real pleasure to succeed in filling more and more stadiums and to be able to share these events with as many people as possible,” Ménager said. “It shows a great evolution in people’s enthusiasm for women’s rugby, it’s great.

“It’s always incredible to be able to experience moments like this with your sister. We are very proud and happy to experience them together.”