Kirby looks to the past as England prepare to make Wembley history again

The striker was speaking at the premiere of ‘Wear the Rose: An England Rugby Dream’
The striker was speaking at the premiere of ‘Wear the Rose: An England Rugby Dream’

By Milly McEvoy, Sportsbeat

Fran Kirby feels England's 'monster' clash with USA at a sold-out Wembley will lay bare the behemoth that women's football has become.

The friendly will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lionesses as they face the first real test of their European champion credentials.

The striker was speaking at the premiere of ‘Wear the Rose: An England Rugby Dream’, a two-part behind-the-scenes documentary which has followed the England women’s rugby team in the build-up to their own major tournament.

Kirby's focus is on making a statement against the world champions and celebrating the growth of the game in one fell swoop.

“It's going to be an amazing experience, obviously playing in the Euros final against Germany and now doing it against the current world champions, you can't ask for a better game to be a part of,” the 29-year-old said.

“And to play another game at a sold-out Wembley, it's what dreams are made of, it's everything that we've been pushing for for so long.

“For many girls, who played before me who didn't get the opportunity to experience a sell-out Wembley or experience being a European champion playing against the world champions, it's a really special moment for them.

“Knowing that they have helped create this monster that women's football is becoming and I think it's just a massive testament to them for the chance that we get now to be able to do that.

“I think it's going to be really special game and a really special moment and playing against the current world champions, what a better test than that.”

Sarina Wiegman's squad have not rested on their laurels since lifting the trophy on 31 July but they are blighted by injury.

Captain Leah Williamson won't face the Stars and Stripes or Czech Republic after sustaining an injury in training.

But the Arsenal star has still been vocal in calling for the fans to pack out stadiums in the Barclays Women's Super League.

That call has been heard with the cumulative record broken for a weekend of WSL games last week, while the Lionesses’ open letter to the government for football to be available to all girls in school is yet to cut through.

Kirby is now turning her attention to another key issue - visibility.

The Chelsea forward said: “Women's football is on the up, and of course getting more bums on seats is always going to be a priority.

“But for me, I've been a massive driver in having access to watch women's football wherever you are, I want to be able to watch women's football in different countries.

“To have the access to see these players play because there's some amazing talent out there and the only time we really get to see them is in internationals.

“But I'd love to have that opportunity to actually watch more of the Spanish league games, more of the Italian league games.

“The WSL obviously has the FA Player which is able to be viewed everywhere but having that access to watch elsewhere is really important to help grow the profile for everyone, not just England.”

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.