By Milly McEvoy
Red Rose Bryony Cleall is ready to prove the doubters wrong with a new one-of-a-kind documentary following the England women’s rugby team.
The 30-year-old from Norwich hopes viewers who are sceptical of women’s rugby will see exactly what has gone into building an all-conquering side who have been ranked No.1 for almost two years.
‘Wear the Rose: An England Rugby Dream’, a two-part behind-the-scenes documentary which has been co-funded by O2 and the RFU, will be aired on 3 and 4 October on ITV and available on the ITV Hub.
“The people that are going to be shown in the documentary are, I think, some of the most inspiring people you could meet,” the Wasps prop said.
“And when you add that to the dedication they put into our sport and then, how successful they are.
“Turn off the Premier League and have a look at some inspiring stories, it’s giving you an opportunity to see what truly happens in women’s sport.
“If you believe that women shouldn’t be playing rugby, come and have a look. If you believe that we turn up and we put some bibs on and have a stretch, come, and have a look.
“If you think that we’re not fully professional, come and have a look. If you think we play with smaller balls and on a smaller pitch, come and have a look.
“Are your beliefs true or false? And I think this documentary will show you the truth.”
Cleall will be tuning in when the first episode of the documentary premieres on ITV on 3 October at 10:50pm and she will also watch from home as England embark on their quest to be world champions.
The TikTok Women’s Six Nations Grand Slam winner just missed out on the 32-strong Red Roses squad for the tour in New Zealand which begins next Saturday.
She will be cheering on her identical twin sister Poppy who made the cut – and Bryony will accept nothing less than a gold medal from her.
Cleall added: “I’m expecting them to win. Poppy’s not coming home if she doesn’t!
“Is a silver medal a failure? Yes, in the sense that if you asked anyone in that Red Roses squad right now if a silver medal was a failure, they would say yes.”
Both sisters have featured in England’s run to 25 Test wins in a row, a world record across men’s and women’s rugby, with Cleall insisting it has never been a given.
“People will probably perceive it as an easy journey, but I think they forget, and now they will see, the time, the effort and the dedication we’ve all put in to stay far ahead of other countries,” she said.
“Often, we say in training ‘compete with each other to be better’ and when we played the USA and Wales in the warm-up games, and we won by a big margin, it’s easy for people to say, ‘oh, it’s easy, oh, it’s going to happen’.
“But actually, now they can see the work that’s gone in to allow that to happen.”
Wear the Rose: An England Rugby Dream, a one-of-a-kind documentary co-funded by O2 and RFU on the Red Roses journey to New Zealand, will be aired on 3 and 4 October on ITV and available on the ITV Hub.