TEACHER LIFTS RUGBY WORLD CUP
HILLINGDON teacher Emma Croker has reached the pinnacle of her rugby career in lifting the World Cup with England.
Croker, who is head of PE at Swakeleys School for Girls in Hillingdon, helped her country beat Canada 21-9 in the final at the Stade Jean Bouin in Paris on Sunday.
It was a case of second-time lucky for Croker after the 31-year-old was part of the England side pipped to the trophy by New Zealand on home soil four years ago.
Becoming world champion is an incredible achievement for any player, but the fact that the England hooker did not even pick up a ball until the age of 20 makes her rise all the more remarkable.
Growing up in a football-mad community in Essex, Croker got involved in the sport only during her time at university and she has also been a talented weightlifter.
She went up to collect the World Cup trophy with her two-anda-half-year-old daughter Lucy. Complications during Lucy’s birth led to Croker being prohibited from training and playing for three months.
Lucy was England’s mascot during the campaign in France. She watched the game from the stands with dad James, as flanker Maggie Alphonsi and Emily Scarratt – arguably the player of the tournament – starred to ensure redemption belonged to last year’s beaten finalists.
TOP TEAM: The England women’s rugby union team celebrate their World Cup victory