International Playing Network
NEWS

International Playing Network

International Playing Network

VICKY FLEETWOOD

Vicky Fleetwood is a woman of many talents; a former junior hurdler, a personal trainer and a Rugby World Cup winner. The Nuneaton-born diet and nutrition adviser began playing rugby at the age of 14 after tiring of watching her brother play. Vicky moved to Saracens from Lichfield after the Women’s World Cup success in 2014, where she made six appearances. Two of these were off the bench but the front row was handed a start in the final where England beat Canada 21-9. She overcame an injury to make the 2017 Women's World Cup and made three appearances off the bench including in the final against New Zealand. Despite making her Red Roses debut in August 2011 at the age of 21, Vicky had raced to 50 caps by July 2015. After scoring two tries in her first 56 Tests, Vicky bagged a hat-trick in the 29-15 win over Italy at Twickenham Stoop in February 2017. It was the first by a front row forward in the history of the Women’s Six Nations with her three tries spanning only 19 minutes and she went on to play in every match of the championship that year. Vicky was first involved in England Sevens at the Rugby Europe Grand Prix in Kazan in 2015 and played the final three legs of the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series in 2018. The prop was then selected for the World Cup Sevens in San Francisco in July 2018.

LEANNE RILEY

Leanne Riley started her international rugby career playing the sevens, and was part of the successful England team that lifted the IRB Challenge Cup Sevens crown in Hong Kong in 2012. Her Test debut in the XV-a-side format came in 2013 against South Africa but the Harlequins scrum-half would have to wait until the 2018 Women's Six Nations for her first try. Leanne took up rugby at the age of 10 at Park Hill Primary School in her home city of Coventry. She continued playing as she moved to different schools, featuring in a mixed tag tournament at Old Coventrians RFC and after that, started playing for the club’s junior teams. She won the Women’s Premiership in 2016 with Richmond and 2017 with Aylesford Bulls Ladies, bagging herself player of the final, before the club was taken over by Harlequins at the start of the Tyrrells Premier 15s for the 2017/18 season. Leanne appeared in 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup and currently has 21 caps for her country. The scrum half has been working with Lions since January 2018, inspiring the generation of players to push onto the next level.

NATASHA HUNT

Natasha Hunt’s rugby career began at the age of 17 when her PE teacher suggested that she tried the sport. Her England dream became reality in the space of a few months as she progressed from the West Midlands trials, the high-performance academy and trials for the England U20 squad. She went on to start the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup final, earning her 29th cap and victory over Canada. Natasha represented Team GB in sevens at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Returning to 15s after the Olympics, she was awarded with a full-time professional EPS contract in September 2016 and was part of the squad that reached a second successive World Cup final in 2017, starting against New Zealand. A foot injury caused her to miss the start of the 2017/18 season where she moved back into the England Sevens programme on a full-time basis. Gloucester-born Natasha was educated at Dean Magna Community School, Hartpury College and Bath University and when she's not contracted to England Rugby she is a PE teacher.  Plagued by injury for much of the 2018 season, Natasha played in just the Kitakyushu leg of the 2017/18 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. But she was named as captain of England in the first leg of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix in France in May before earning selection for the World Cup Sevens in San Francisco in July 2018.

CHLOE BUTLER

Chloe grew up on a cattle property in the Gulf of Queensland. She has been an elite athlete from a young age participating in track and field, gridiron and rugby union. Butler earned her debutant Jersey for Australia as the 113th Wallaroo playing No.8, Flanker and Lock at the Tri Nations Series in New Zealand in 2014. Butler was named as part of the 2014 Women Rugby Union World Cup in France, the first ever women's Bledislo Cup in New Zealand in 2016, 2017 Four nations series England, Canada, New Zealand and Australia and the 2017 World Cup in Ireland. She made the move to London after the World Cup to be apart of the Tyrrell Premier 15's Championship and is currently representing Harlequins Women. Chloe endeavours to be ambassador for women and young girls in sport and rugby in particular. She aims to enrich the lives of those around her through the promoting a healthy and active lifestyle along with a positive and productive mindset.

CLAIRE PURDY

Claire Purdy is a former England Women's Rugby player and captain with 43 caps to her name. Claire first started playing rugby at the University of Chichester with her playing career there culminating in her representing England Students in 2001. Following her graduation, she has played for London Wasps since 2002, making her England debut in 2005 against Spain. Claire is the only player to be capped in all three front row positions, she won 43 England caps in her 9 year career with the international squad, and captained her country twice. Playing in both the 2010 and 2014 Women's Rugby World Cups, Claire was part of the team who won the 2014 competition, before winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year's Team of the Year award with the rest of the England Women's squad. Claire has also been part of the inaugural Barbarian Women's Team who faced Munster and selected again for the Barbarians second fixture against the Army.

EMMA UREN

A natural athlete as a youngster, she also competed at county and regional level in netball, athletics and cross country. Comfortable at wing, centre and full back, Uren hit her first international milestone in April 2016 when she captained an England U18 rugby talent development group to a 41-17 win over Canada, also grabbing a try, in Devon. Uren, who was born in Chiswick, made her debut for Saracens Women against Lichfield in November 2016 and her first England U20s cap came in a 38-15 triumph over the Army at the Aldershot Army Rugby Stadium in February 2017. Her introduction to the game came at the age of 16, after a bout of glandular fever hampered her ability to compete in the pool. She joined Grasshoppers and eventually graduated to play for Middlesex and then the South East Divisional U18 squad. The Saracen has always looked up to elite athletes in general, rather than specific individuals, inspired by how they train, and is currently studying for a degree in strength and conditioning sciences at St Mary’s University.

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