ladies rugby star - Christine Lawson gets the ball at a line-out for Crewe and Nantwich Ladies RUFC - photo by Sue Ridout

A talented Crewe and Nantwich rugby player has been chosen to receive training at an elite level club, writes Jonathan White.

Christine Lawson, aged 17, from Crewe, started playing rugby only two years ago.

Born in South Africa, she was inspired to play by her father Steve, who regularly participated in the sport in South Africa and now runs Nantwich Bookshop.

Christine currently plays on the flank for the Ladies XV at Crewe & Nantwich RUFC, based at the Vagrants in Willaston, in the National Challenge North West 1 league.

She is also a member of the Cheshire RFU Senior County Ladies team, who train at Winnington Park, having played several times for Cheshire RFU Under 18s.

Last month, she attended a trial for Firwood Waterloo Ladies RFU team in Bootle near Liverpool.

And after impressing so much there, she has been picked to receive training at the club’s centre of excellence at Litherland Sports Park.

Christine Lawson - photo by Denise Lawson

Christine Lawson

Firwood Waterloo Ladies play in the Tyrrells Premier 15s – the top tier of the women’s English rugby union domestic league.

The club also has links with the England Women’s RFU setup.

Christine has also played in the Cheshire Under 17 and Under 18 girls cricket teams and played in the Cheshire Under 17s girls hockey team, but chose to follow her dream of playing rugby.

She hopes to inspire other girls to participate in sport. Statistically, by the age of 17, more than half of girls have stopped playing sport altogether.

Christine said: “I am very glad to receive training at this high level.

“I also thank the coaches and players at Crewe & Nantwich Rugby Union Football Club who have helped me get this far.”

Matt Baty, Ladies Coach at Crewe & Nantwich RUFC, said: “Christine was forced to play at a different club last year due to the lack of players in her age group at Crewe and Nantwich.

“Fortunately, this year she has been able to play up to the Over 18s due to a change in the league regulations and has slotted right in!

“It can often be a big step up from juniors to adults due to the difference in the size and physicality of the players, but Christine has been one of the first names on the team sheet since the start of the season.

“She has a very bright future in the game and we’re very lucky to have had her at Crewe & Nantwich RUFC this season.”

For information relating to Crewe & Nantwich RUFC, visit http://www.cnrugby.uk/ or search Crewe and Nantwich Ladies RUFC on Facebook.

(Story by Jonathan White, photos by Sue Ridout, top, and Christine Lawson)

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