24th May, 2022

Coventry teacher overwhelmed by first England rugby appearances

Felix Nobes 22nd Feb, 2018

A COVENTRY P.E teacher switched the school field for Twickenham as she competes for England’s rugby team at the Six Nations.

Charlotte Pearce, 24, took a break from educating young athletes at Whitley Academy to play rugby at the highest level for her country.

An achievement particularly striking considering she only took up the sport six years ago.

Miss Pearce, as she is referred to by her students, plays wing and has now gained two international caps.

She achieved her first full international cap on February 10, finding herself in the starting line-up as England thrashed Wales 52-0.

In her days studying to become a teacher at Loughborough University, she made a name for herself playing for local top-flight teams – Lichfield Ladies and Loughborough Lightning.

Speaking to England Rugby after her debut, she said: “It was a really new, scary but amazing experience as it’s a massive responsibility but at the same time I was obviously incredibly honoured.

“Everyone is fighting for the shirt and the fact that I got onto the bench I was so over the moon with that.

“I wasn’t really sure I was going to go and then just to see my name I was like, just, ‘wow’.

“It was overwhelming but it was a good kind of overwhelming as I just felt happy to be there to experience all of that and I was so excited for the opportunity.”

A group of teachers toured to Twickenham to see their friend and colleague make her full England debut and she has thanked staff and pupils from Whitley for their inspiring support.

Miss Pearce, talking about her students, told England Rugby: “Since they found out I play rugby they’ve been so genuine and supportive, they love it.

“They say ‘well done miss’ and ask me questions, as the staff do as well.

“I wouldn’t be here if they didn’t let me come so they’ve been a great support.”

In her return to the staff room, she was greeted by a message of support created by her fellow teachers.

It read: ‘we are so proud of you Charlotte.’

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