Monye hails Kildunne as 'best in the world' ahead of Grand Slam decider

Monye hails Kildunne as 'best in the world' ahead of Grand Slam decider

By Stefan Frost, Sportsbeat

Ugo Monye believes Red Roses flyer Ellie Kildunne has achieved her aim of being the best rugby player on the planet.

Kildunne has been the standout performer in the Guinness Women’s Six Nations and a hat-trick in England’s 88-10 rout of Ireland on Saturday took her tally to nine tries in four games.

The Harlequins full-back will look to continue that form in this weekend’s Grand Slam decider against France and Monye believes she is in a league of her own.

“Ellie said [in an interview with The Telegraph] she wants to be the best player in the world, male or female, and when you’re quite evidently the best player in the best team on the planet, I think it’s fair to say she may already be achieving that,” Monye said.

“She’s ridiculous. I’m not even the one putting her in that conversation, she is, purely by her performances.

“I was having a look at her numbers in terms of metres made, carries, line-breaks, tries. She’s topping all the charts.

“She’s becoming this self-fulfilling prophecy whereby, because she’s so effective, England build the game around her and she never lets anyone down.

“Her ability to make something from absolutely nothing is pure wizardry. She’s magical.

“She’s just a lovely player to watch because she makes hard things look really simple. She’s a great athlete and a great rugby player.”

Kildunne was not the only Red Roses star to score a hat-trick against Ireland, with Abby Dow crossing for a treble of her own as the hosts turned on the style in front of a 48,778 strong Twickenham crowd.

Jess Breach went over twice herself but Monye, a wing in his own playing days, reckons the full-back is the pick of the bunch.

“It’s easier to stand out in mediocre teams but to stand out in a team filled with superstars is incredible,” Monye said.

“You list the Red Roses team and it’s a galaxy of superstars and yet Ellie’s still shining the brightest of all of them.

“Maybe I’m biased being in the back three, but for me rugby’s all about scoring tries and Ellie does that better than anyone.”

The Red Roses now turn their attention to familiar foes France in Bordeaux with another Grand Slam on the line.

There is plenty riding on the match but Monye believes England have what it takes to seal a sixth straight Championship.

“The Red Roses’ fundamentals are very good – set-piece, kicking game, defence have all been great,” Monye said.

“It will be a step up against France but they’re peaking really nicely. The Ireland win was probably their most complete performance of the Six Nations so far.

“In tight games you need players that can generate moments of magic and England have lots of them.

“Ellie is that prime candidate of course. But the back three more generally is so well-balanced.

“Abby Dow is so physical, she was dishing hand-offs for fun, and if you give Jess Breach the ball she’ll finish. It’s all about how they complement each other.”

Monye was speaking at Twickenham as part of the RFU’s Play Together Stay Together campaign, which offers grassroots clubs the chance to play at the home of English rugby as a reward for establishing player pathways for junior athletes.

“The connection between grassroots and the elite level of the game is probably best represented today when clubs get to compete on the biggest of all stages,” Monye said.

“It means a lot to the people that have turned up to play. A lot of them may have been here as supporters, but this is an opportunity for them to have their moment at the home of English rugby.”

Play Together Stay Together is an England Rugby campaign to encourage people to get back into rugby. Want to get back to the action? Find your local rugby club using