Knight, Baker, and Wurst make women’s rugby history during The Rugby Weekend

Three women made rugby history during The Rugby Weekend in Chicago. On November 3rd, 2018, Phaidra Knight, Mere Baker, and Katie Wurst came together as the first all-women sportscasting team in the United States for a Women's Eagles Test match which was live on FloRugby.

"It was a pretty powerful experience," Phadria Knight said, "Before the match, Mere, Katie, and I gathered in the broadcast booth, reviewed our game plan, huddled with a cheer before we went live. But this experience was so much more than just about us; it was about the women who will fill these roles and continue to elevate the game after us."

Baker and Wurst echoed the impact of the experience, "It didn't hit me how important it was until we got together at the end of the game and recognized that we were part of a team that is leading the way in broadcasting for women" Mere Baker expressed.

"This visibility and opportunity from this experience are important for young women to see; for those who are thinking about this as a career option and, perhaps even more importantly, for the women that did not realize that this line of work was even an option," said Katie Wurst.

Adding to their rapport, each woman brought a unique perspective to commentating the Test match against No. 1 New Zealand Black Ferns. Baker was especially excited to see what the sportscasting crew was going to produce knowing that each woman brought a diverse background with them to the table.

"I bring a very tactical experience to the group playing international rugby and also being a professional coach for the past seven years." Explained Baker.

Knight explained that "Having represented Team USA for many years and playing against New Zealand a handful of times over my career, it was great to bring that perspective to the commentary. Having insight on players that I had once played against and even some that I had played with, brought a more personal additive to the storyline."

 "It was important for me to bring a lot of historical experience having worked in different facets of rugby. I use that understanding to commentate in a way that would make what was happening on the field be relatable to everyone. Whether the listener had never seen rugby or had been playing for as long as they could remember - there would be something that would grab their interest" said Wurst.

 Knight, Baker, and Wurst all hope their commentating and this historic news will encourage the next generation of women to be involved in sportscasting. With that, they had a few pieces of advice, "My advice to them is something that I remind myself constantly - be yourself and learn as much as you possibly can about your subject" Knight shared.

 "I would advise women to get involved with local clubs and communities by volunteering to call matches," said Baker. Wurst also advised the next generation to get involved and take every opportunity possible, "Any opportunity that you have, you should take. Moreover, you should go into it with the right attitude. You definitely won't see an opportunity if you have the attitude that you don't think you could do it. Be confident and give it a try."

 "There are a lot of times that we as individuals think to ourselves that we are not ready and instead we should say I am as ready as I need to be right now then just go for it," Wurst concluded.

In the end, viewers across the county received an exceptional piece of rugby history with three of the best in the game, "FloRugby gave us the opportunity to create a way and a vision for many more women to come." Knight Explained.

Knight concluded, "Aside from witnessing history being made, viewers had an opportunity to preview things to come from our National Team Program.  Neither USA match score reflected the enormous effort and moment of brilliance portrayed by our teams and those who watched the matches witnessed that.  I know that I felt an incredible amount of potential and promise in watching those matches."