A Northwood school student and rugby team captain represented England in an international game.
Sophie Hopkins attends St Helen’s School and is the captain of the Watford-based Fullerians U18 team. She was selected for the England Women’s Under 18 squad after impressing at a three-day training camp at the start of February.
In her first match with the national squad, which saw England take on Wales on March 5, Sophie helped the team to victory in the match, winning 48-5.
Reacting to the news that she had been selected for the England squad, Sophie said: “I had so much fun all through the selection process, not just on the pitch but in the camps too. I’m really excited about the hard work ahead and the chance to represent England in an international.”
None of the players were more loudly cheered than Sophie, who made her England debut coming off the bench in the second half.
Although Sophie got off to a nervous start, she quickly grew into the game with strong defensive work on the right touchline. She later moved away from her own wing to launch an attack with an excellent long pass that saw England score in the left-hand corner.
Speaking before the game, England head coach James Cooper said: “Congratulations to all players selected, especially those who’ve been picked for the first time – they’ve worked very hard to earn the right to pull on an England shirt.”
The two teams will come together again at a Six Nations tournament at Wellington College in April.
Sophie is a participant in the Sport England-funded Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, which provides support to around 500 elite athletes aged 16 and over across nearly 40 sports.