June 18 2013 Latest news:
Friday, March 22, 2013
England under-20 rugby player Lucie Wood is hoping to receive the call again
When Lucie Wood first started her rugby career at Eton Manor at the age of nine she was the only girl in the team.
But fast-forward 10 years and there are now a number of girls competing at youth level for the club and the England under-20 international is filled with pride.
“I played at Eton Manor for three years and captained a side for two whilst being the only girl in the team,” said Wood.
“But I was back there a few weeks ago and now there are a lot more girls playing rugby and that makes me extremely proud to see how the women’s game has grown since I first started.”
The former Wanstead High school pupil has only fond memories of the club and has Manor to thank for her early years in the sport.
“They have continued to show great support over the years since I have left,” she added. “They are my roots and they have helped me get to where I am today so I owe them a lot.
“They have been so supportive and have always made me welcome whenever I have come back.”
Wood made her debut for England under-20s against France last month as they lost out 17-5 to Les Bleus.
And the 19-year-old also featured in a 15-3 defeat in their return meeting in Dijon last Friday.
But despite the results flanker Wood – who now plays for Worcester – can take a lot from both her individual and team performance.
She said: “We have worked so hard as a group over recent weeks, which makes the defeats difficult to take.
“We played so much better than the scoreline suggests and if we get another crack at France I believe we can get the better of them.”
Wood is hopeful that if all goes to plan she will be included in England’s squad for the Nations Cup event in the summer, where they will take on the likes of South Africa, Canada and the United States.
“I was so proud to put on that white shirt for the two games against France,” added Wood.
“I feel I have learnt an awful lot in being part of the team.
“If I’m privileged enough to be selected again we can continue to improve. If we put performances like we did in France, then that will stand us in good stead.”
University has taken Wood away from her Essex roots but this season she has helped Worcester to remain undefeated in the RFU Women’s Premiership as they occupy top spot.
As well as studying Strength and Conditioning at Gloucestershire University, Wood also plays for the Uni team and at county level.
“I have been playing all my rugby in the South West of late and there has been a lot of it,” she said.
“But the coaches here are great and I’m playing a lot of rugby, which is always nice.”