Introducing England Rugby Player - Marlie Packer
We're pleased to introduce you to Marlie Packer, Saracens and England women's rugby player, and now a Castore ambassador.
A wonderful character both on and off the pitch, Marlie is the epitome of today's professional sportswoman - committed, ambitious and a winner. She is also the very definition of "Better Never Stops".
Ahead of our partnership, we spoke to Marlie who shared her story and the steps that led to working with us.
When I was five or six years old, I distinctly remember my mum dressing me to go watch a match, she put me in jeans and red frilly top and somehow I returned covered in mud, and such began my love of rugby.
Growing up, my weekends were always filled with sport; with football on a Saturday morning and rugby on Sundays. Looking back, my mum did an amazing job with both me and my brother ferrying us to our countless practice sessions. But there came an age when I had to decide between rugby or football, rugby prevailed and joined the fantastic Yeovil Rugby Club.
After 71 England Caps, I haven’t looked back!
Playing rugby has been amazing for me mentally but, having struggled with depression from the pressure from the off-field side of rugby and life, I’ve had to work hard to remain positive, fit and focussed. Juggling home life and the training load is a challenge. I’m fortunate to be one of 28 players with a full-time England contract but that has only been in place for the last two years. For many of the women I play alongside at Saracens, they have to balance work with training and playing and that can be tough.
Due to injury, I was unable to participate in the 2020 6 Nations, so my current focus is returning to full fitness. My training regime is particularly strict and has been challenging since the COVID-19 outbreak, but I’m adapting well and making the most of the situation.
I’m immensely proud of my rugby achievements to date and hopefully, there is plenty more to come in the next few years! Most notably, the back-to-back Tyrrells Premier 15's title with Saracens, 3 Grand Slams for England and the 2014 Rugby World Cup win; these were all incredible moments. I’m ambitious and aim to go to the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand, not only as a part of the squad, but as one of England’s best openside flanker players, and win it.
I love the sport of rugby and everything it stands for. The people you meet, the friends you make and the fact that you play for one another and put your bodies on the line - whether that’s for your country or for your club. I’m lucky enough to play for my country, so when we come back to Premiership games a lot of the girls I play against are very good friends of mine off the pitch, and we go all out against each but then afterwards we have a drink together whether that’s a beer or a cup of tea. That’s special!
I am super excited to be part of the Castore team. The values and ambitions of Castore match mine and I’m delighted to be representing such a world-class team on and off the rugby field, alongside some of Britain’s most exciting rising star and successful athletes like Harry Hughes, Lauren Jones and Sir Andy Murray.
I always say to the younger players I meet in rugby,
Keep working hard, enjoy it and make sure you do those little 1-2% things, even if you don’t feel like doing it at the time, because in the long run it all adds up. Those marginal gains could make all the difference to you, your teammates and your team.
Better Never Stops is a great way to encapsulate that attitude and I’m excited to work with Castore in inspiring others to reach their potential and go beyond.