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Big ambitions to play for her country have moved a step closer for up-and-coming young rugby star, Meg.

But, right now, the 18-year-old Bede student from Yarm doesn’t have her eyes on the England shirt.

With Welsh blood in her veins from her dad’s side, she said: “I would love to play for Wales, as both me and my dad are massive fans.”

Holding an invite to the Welsh Rugby Union Exiles under 18s training camp this week, it looks like she is headed in the right direction.

A player for the North East and Cumbria Centre of Excellence, under U18 girls’ captain at Darlington Mowden Park RFC, and Bede’s Women’s Rugby Academy, the invite to attend the camp in Nottingham is the next step on the Welsh pathway.

If selected, Meg said: “It would mean the chance to be in the squad for the upcoming U18 Six Nations tournament, competing against England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy and France.”

Proud to even be in the running, she added: “I have been working hard with my coaches at the Centre of Excellence, Mowden, and of course at Bede’s ISE academy.  It is always the dream to play at this level, but it only happens for the select few.”

Meg’s own passion for rugby started at secondary school, when a representative from Mowden paid a visit to the school.

She said: “My PE teacher suggested I give it a go so I went for a taster session, and seven years later I’m still there.”

Falling in love with the sport, both playing and watching, the teenager soon started to show noticeable skills on the pitch.

She has gone on to play for the U18 county squad and Newcastle Falcons U18 Academy, selected for the first team.  In January last year, Meg was scouted for the North East and Cumbria Centre of Excellence.

With rugby playing such a big part in her life, when it came to leaving school, she said the Institute of Sport and Education at Bede was a big influence on her college choice.

Supporting her ambitions in rugby as well as her academic goals, she now studies sociology, criminology, and sport and exercise science at Bede Sixth Form, with time built into her timetable for training with professional coaches and games.

Never afraid to throw herself into the game, Meg, who plays as tight head prop, said: “People don’t realise how physically demanding rugby is.”

Regularly training at least three times a week, plus games, she explained: “The academy at Bede has helped me to become a lot fitter and stronger and improved my skills as well.

“They are really good, helping with game analysis, recovery, and strength and conditioning training, making sure I am ready for my next game.”

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