After making it onto a shortlist of the world’s most promising talent in rugby, Loughborough College and England’s Amy Cockayne has been named as The Scrumqueens 2016 Young Player of the Year.
Selected for a final line up featuring Australia’s Charlotte Caslick and Russia’s Elena Zdrokova Amy was awarded the prestigious global title with judges calling her “an outstanding young player” adding that at just 20-years-old the chances are high she’ll be in contention for this award (which goes to players under the age of 23) for some time.”
The England Women player, who is studying for her BSc in Sports Science with Loughborough College, has 20 caps and 2016 alone included tries against the USA, France and Canada.
Amy spent eight years in New Zealand after her dad, who is in the air force, was posted there and she captained Feilding High School to an amazing 53 wins in 53 matches in 2012 before returning home.
“It has always been my ambition to play for England and I wanted to see if I could achieve that. The whole family came back with me and it has been a crazy – but great - three years since.”
Amy won the European Championship with England U18 Sevens and also has also figured in the U20s Sevens.
“I was selected for the England Women U20 squad in 2014 and got my first cap for the senior side in 2015 when we won against Italy.”
Amy’s maiden try was against Canada in the 2015 Rugby Super Series at Edmonton and her 11th Test cap was against Ireland at Twickenham this February when her powerful carry helped to create England’s second try from Abbie Scott in a 13-9 victory.
“I was surprised to even be in the shortlist for Young Player of the Year but to get the title when I was alongside Charlotte and Elena was a real shock.
“I was in camp with England when I found out and if anyone gets a bit of limelight it’s a great opportunity for some ribbing so I was getting it from the other girls all day – every time I did or said anything it would be, ‘Just because you’re Young Player of the Year…’ But they were all really happy for me.
“It’s a challenge to study alongside training and playing – the first day of camp after the New Year I had an exam in the morning – but it can actually be a great escape to get your head stuck in the books. Loughborough College have been great at helping arrange my timetable around everything and they’re really supportive. Meg Jones, who is also on the squad, is at the College with me and is my roommate, so that’s great. Plus I learn so much in Sports Science that helps with my rugby.
“This is going to be a big year. Of course we have the World Cup in August and we definitely want to try to win that – for England to have two World Championship titles back to back would be amazing. Being so close to home for it all will be a real boost, to have the support of family and friends.
“And next month we have the first game of the Six Nations – against France at Twickenham.
“I’ll put my best foot forward and perform and hope I get selected for the squads. I am determined but I am also pretty chilled out. I’ll just keep doing what I do.”
Elizabeth Udall, Communications Consultant:
Tel: 07515 852690