Ellie Pigford: Train and play to your full potential!
Seventeen-year-old Ellie Pigford, is certainly one to watch. The talented Hooker known for her explosive runs and unforgiving tackling, currently represents England through the Under 18 talent development group when she's not playing for her TWO clubs; Horden & Peterlee U18s and Hartlepool Rovers Women. After stumbling across some of her action-shots on Instagram, I was keen to catch up with Ellie to discuss all things rugby, and here's what she had to say!
1. Which celebrity are you most like and why?
"Dylan Hartley, we play in the same position with aggressive play in rugby".
2. Do you have any guilty pleasures?
"I’m guilty for watching rugby big hits on my computer and I love strawberries!"
3. What first got you involved in rugby and what is your earliest playing memory?
"When I was 8, my dad took me to a park to play and we were close to a field where a group of boys were playing rugby and I asked my dad if I could try it out! It all started from there & I have never looked back since".
4. How did you get involved in the England National Development program?
"I got involved in the England U18s talent development group due to the player pathway system, where you start from club & county to academy level (North England) and I got picked up from there. My commitment to train hard and go forward was a big thing which i valued!"
5. Who motivates you the most?
"I would say I motivate myself, but My dad is the one that got me into playing rugby & he is the one that motivates me the most! He never leaves my side and he always pushes me and never gives up on me"
6. You're well known for your strong carries which often lead to a few bumps and scrapes, talk us through some of your injuries.
"If we don’t have a game we'll train Sunday morning, there was this one time when we were doing a tackling drill and as I made a tackle I got studded in the head! I split my head open which led to the iconic picture of blood pouring down my face! I have injured my nose on multiple occasions. The main ones I’ll never forget is two different games, same team mate, same scenario... we clashed heads!"
7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
"In 5 years time I hope to see my self playing for England women and to be proud wearing the red rose!"
8. What advice would you give to young girls who are considering playing rugby?
"To the young girls wanting to try out rugby or continue playing rugby! Never give up and always keep your head up to go forward! No matter how big or how small you are, there is always a place on the pitch for everyone, train & play to your full potential as you never know who’s watching! Prove to everyone why you want to play, your goal is always achievable if you really want it! Good luck to all young girls out there stay safe!"
Thank you for taking the time out to speak to me Ellie! I am 100% sure you will continue to develop and achieve your dreams in this sport!