Introducing Danielle (Nolli) Waterman…

Although I am currently living in the ‘big smoke’ and within one season have become a proud Wasp, home has always been in the beautiful South West. Growing up in the little seaside town of Minehead, I also spent 4 years in New Zealand between the ages of 5-9years old. This is definitely where I grew a love for all outdoor sports and it was hard not to idolise many of the mighty All Blacks. However, rugby was always in my blood. My Dad played over 400 games for Bath, and doing everything alongside my two older brothers, definitely led to a ‘rough and tumble’ kind of childhood. Once old enough to take part in training, off I went to Minehead Barbarians at the age of 4years old and haven't looked back since.

Being the only girl playing mini rugby with the boys until the age of 12, definitely taught me how to hold my own and after a couple of seasons in the girl’s game, I was picked up by the England Women’s programme. Aged 15years old I was catapulted into senior rugby and I was selected for the England Senior Academy. This coupled with one of my first big teenage achievements, being a Red Coat at Butlins Holiday Camp for my school work experience…made 2000 quite a year.

Moving away to Bath to attend a Rugby Academy, helped me progress my rugby and at 18years old before my A’ Level exams, I received my first full International cap.

15 years on, and after 82 caps, 4 World Cups, 1 Olympic Games and many Six Nations Grand Slam medals, I have had a blast. Although beating Bridgwater U12s, the giants of West Somerset rugby is up there with my greatest achievements, after two World Cup silver medals, winning in 2014 and finally becoming a World Champion was incredible.

I believe this also created the change in momentum for the support for women’s rugby in this country, and with record breaking crowds and support this season…I cannot wait to see how both 7s and 15s grow in the years to come.

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