NEW College Pontefract student Ellie Smith has been selected to play for the England Women’s Students Rugby League Team.
Ellie, 16, earned her place in the national team after coming through a series of intense fitness assessments based on speed, agility, functional movement and endurance.
She will join the squad when they go on a five-day tour to France on Thursday, May 23 and again for two tests against GB Teachers and the annual Pankhurst Cup fixture in November.
Head coach Mark Brennan said: “Ellie is one of the younger members of the squad, who has progressed from the England Futures programme into the England students programme.
“Ellie impressed all coaches at the trials, she worked tirelessly throughout the selection process and has earned her selection based on the hard work she has put in.
“Ellie is a versatile player who we are looking forward to monitoring over the next nine months of the programme.
“I am sure if she stays in education she will be an integral part of the squad for many years to come.
“The selection process this year was the toughest I have been involved in and the standard of play was also very high. This is the first time a deal like this has been utilised in the student women’s programme and this shows the distance travelled over the last three years.”
NEW College vice-principal Richard Fletcher said: “I am extremely proud of Ellie’s success in gaining a place in the squad.
“Coming from a background of rugby myself, I understand how intense and challenging being assessed to be a part of a team can be, especially at this level.
“Ellie is a dedicated student and an excellent rugby player. I am sure she will do fantastically well with the England student team.”