Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

Photo Ac­tion Images/Jed Le­ices­ter


TOP TEAM: The Eng­land women’s rugby union team cel­e­brate their World Cup vic­tory

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