Congratulations to Year 8 student Ellie Adcock who has been selected to play for the East Midlands rugby squad two years earlier than normal. Eloise was given special dispensation to play contact rugby from the RFU as she has been involved in the sport since the age of five. She is in an U-15 female team at Old Northamptonians alongside girls three years her senior. Earlier this year, as the only female on her team, she captained her side to victory in the mini Mobbs tournament.
She said: ‘With boys I was a lot more determined and physical because there is a bit of banter so I wanted to prove myself. Now I am with the girls I feel I am an equal, even though my Kettering team were very supportive and also looked after me.’ Some of them went along to cheer her on at the East Midlands trials that were held last weekend in Wellingborough.
Ellie said: ‘There were about 40 girls at the trials from clubs across the areas including Peterborough, Wellingborough, Olney, Northampton and St Neots. It was such hot weather and not ideal conditions for rugby. We played for three periods lasting 15 minutes each and did a lot of training. The selectors asked us questions and were looking at our ability; how we perform in the scrum and what position we prefer to play.'
Ellie plays with the forwards as a tight head prop and will get specialist training with the East Midlands coaches. She said: ‘I like different challenges because you are always facing someone of different ability in each match. I like not knowing how they are going to be until that first scrum. The season has only just started so I have only played one game with Old Northamptonians. It was a lot of play in the middle of the pitch so even though we were getting the tries it was a hard-fought game that wasn’t reflected in the scoreline as we won 55 – 5!
'I have always played forwards and don’t think I am going to change. I have got the mind for the scrum because my mum and dad have always been in the scrum and have given me tips. I can tackle but I prefer to be in the action, to rip the ball and run with it or pass it. I am not fast but I have the stamina to be able to go through the game without being worn out by half time.’ As part of the East Northants team Ellie will have to travel the country for tournaments with players from the West Midlands, London and Home Counties.
She said: ‘I am nervous because it is such a big thing to represent the East Midlands and I can’t wait to get started. My parents were completely ecstatic as our family is very passionate about rugby and although my dad had trials for the East Midlands I am the first person in our family to be selected. I would like to say thanks to everyone who has supported me including my fellow team mates and the coaches, both at Kettering and Old Northamptonians, plus the 'Sharpie' family who came to cheer me along at the trials.’