Alphonsi ready for rugby retirement ahead of shot put switch

From Rugby World Cup winner to potential Olympian, the next year promises to be nothing if not eventful for Maggie Alphonsi.

The 31-year-old was part of the England side that defeated Canada 21-9 in the Women’s Rugby World Cup final back in August and is looking to bow out of the sport on a high as she attempts to lead Saracens to the league title next Sunday.

That match against Wasps will most likely be Alphonsi’s last in rugby as she turns her attention to the shot put and Rio 2016.

Alphonsi knows it’s going to be a long road to Brazil but is excited at the prospect of a change in discipline.

"I'm at the bottom again and I have to go through all the mistakes to get better," Alphonsi told BBC Sport.

"But that's what I love about sport - that idea of having something to work towards.

"By the time you get to 31 in rugby, your body can start to struggle because of all the hits you take. With me, it's my knees. But I'm coming into throwing at the right time.

"In fact, I've almost got a head start because I've got decent fitness and I know how to be an athlete - I just need to hone my technique.

"Rugby keeps a smile on my face but, in reality, I can't continue to do both if I want to compete at Olympic level.

"My plan was to get through this season and then focus on throwing and, if we win the league, I can end on a high."

© Sportsbeat 2015