Abbie Scott OS (2009-2011) was called up for the senior England Women’s RFU squad this weekend, playing in the position of Lock against Wales at Swansea. Abbie is the first former Sedbergh School girl to represent England in a senior national sporting team.
Captain Tamara Taylor told Rugby World that Abbie, from Darlington Mowden Park RFU, is ‘One of the new-age second-rows who’s very athletic. Her biggest strength is her strength in mind as well as body. She’s very determined as a person and as an athlete she’s good in the lineout, strong in the loose and a good ball-carrier.’
Abbie joined Sedbergh for her Sixth Form studies, moving from Keswick School. Housemistress and then Head of Girls’ Games Hayley Christy said: “She instantly made an impact – she was really focused, academically as well, and always knew what she wanted. She went on to study History and Politics at University and she comes back to Sedbergh regularly, keeping us in touch with her plans. Although Abbie trained at rugby clubs, she did her strength and conditioning at School, and played netball in the first XI, working on training drills that are transferable between netball and rugby – passing skills in particular.
“To have been selected as a Deputy Head of House, as a new pupil, was particularly impressive – she was an excellent role model and had formidable presence, very self-assured. These roles are crucial to each House for guidance, motivation and support of the younger pupils and encouraging them to do their best in all spheres. Abbie’s contribution was immense. She was also a school prefect and in her Upper Sixth she grasped the chance for adventure, taking part in an environmental research and expedition in the jungle of Indonesia."
Abbie has recovered well from a serious knee injury sustained in 2013, which meant she missed out on a place in the England team for the Under-20s Nations Cup, but after training for the past few months with England, she was hopeful of being involved with the Six Nations.
More than 18,000 women and girls play rugby regularly in England, and England Women won the Rugby World Cup in 2014. There are around 250 female senior and university teams affiliated to the RFU, with more than 7,000 women playing regularly.
The England Women’s Squad plays Italy on Sunday 15th February at 2pm, Ireland on 27th February, Scotland on 13th March and France on 21st March.