Zoe heads for Sweden after England call-up

Zoe Aldcroft
Zoe Aldcroft

Scarborough’s Zoe Aldcroft is celebrating after a call-up to the England under-18s sevens squad for the inaugural FIRA European Championships in Sweden next week.

Aldcroft, 17, has played for the north of England 15-a-side team, but this is her first international call-up and she can’t wait to get into action in their first pool match against hosts Sweden next Saturday.

In a challenging schedule, Aldcroft could then be playing two more times on the same day as they tackle Wales and Ireland before their final group game against Portugal the next day.

Aldcroft said: “I’m really excited about the tournament.

“I’ve been involved with the north of England team but not the full international squad.

“We had a team meeting where the squad was announced and I was pleased to be in the team.

“I’m really proud and so are my family.

“Hopefully I can play in all four games and we can go further in the tournament.

“Wales will be the toughest group game and France will be strong if we meet them.”

Aldcroft now has her eye fixed on the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, when sevens rugby will make its debut, but admits she prefers the full, 15-a-side version of the game.

She added: “Hopefully that could happen, but I prefer 15-a-side. I’ll just have to see what happens.”

Aldcroft, who is in the second and last year of her rugby scholarship at the prestigious Hartpury College in Gloucester before joining Worcester’s senior team in womens rugby’s top flight, enjoyed her formative years in the sport under the stewardship of Keith Marshall and Nigel Wilson, and she was quick to pay tribute to them.

“I have to thank Keith and Nigel, they taught me how to play rugby at Scarborough and I owe them a lot,” added Aldcroft.