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End of an era as Kish & Waterman retire

Two of women's rugby's leading players have announced their retirements this week with England's Danielle Waterman and Canada's Jen Kish hanging up their boots.

Waterman is retiring from England duty but will continue to play with Wasps while Kish has been forced into full retirement due to injury.

Both players have been standout and iconic players for their countries for over a decade with Waterman arguably the world's best and most consistent fullback and Kish undoubtedly one of the top sevens players in the world. 

Kish, 29, led Canada as a captain to an Olympic bronze medal in 2016, and hip and neck injures have forced her to retire prematurely. 

Like Waterman, she was identified as a star early and started out in the Canada U19 side, building her way into the Canadian test team at three Nations Cups and playing in the 2010 World Cup. 

When Canada’s women’s sevens head coach John Tait convinced her to make the switch to 7s, she went on to becme one of the most dominating players in the sport.

She captained Canada to a silver medal at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens, a gold medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games and a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics.

“To have the opportunity to put on the Canadian Jersey for the past 13 years has been an absolute privilege,” said Kish. “

To lead the team has been an honour and a dream. I wore the jersey with a lot of pride and nothing will ever come close to giving me that same feeling. What made putting on the jersey so special though were my teammates. To be surrounded with likeminded people who grind it out each day for each other, willing to do whatever it takes, is why I took so much pride in the jersey."

Waterman, 33, won 82 caps and soared 47 tries for England having made her test debut at just 18. She went on to feature in four Women’s Rugby World Cups, was a try-scorer in the 2014 World Cup win and also played sevens for Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games.

“It has been an incredible journey and a true honour to be a Red Rose for the past 15 years," she said. 

"Its been a huge privilege to have not only played alongside and against some of the best players in the world, but to have been part of the huge development and progression of women's international rugby to date.

“I have made lifelong friends through playing for my country, and the time spent with my team mates through the highs and the lows, are the moments I will miss the most.

"Winning the World Cup in 2014 was definitely a dream come true. And to beat New Zealand for the first time in 16 years and go world number one and to do it with the support of the Lions crowd was amazing.

“Playing in a home World Cup in 2010 too. Although it was heart-breaking to lose in the final that was the first time that I really felt that women’s rugby had been recognised by the media and the support - for the final, a full stadium packed with England fans signing swing low was just incredible.”