LYDIA THOMPSON has been recalled to the full England Women’s rugby side which takes on Scotland in the Six Nations tomorrow (Sunday).
Lydia played no part in the Six Nations opener when England suffered a disappointing 18-6 defeat to France, but she has been restored to the starting line-up for the game in Aberdeen ahead of a busy schedule over the next two weeks.
She is part of the 12-strong squad which flies out after the Scotland game to Atlanta in the States where England will play in the second round of the IRB Womens Sevens World Series (February 15-16) and then it is off to Sao Paolo in Brazil for round three (February 21-22) .
The series is the first stage of qualification for Rio in 2016 when sevens rugby will be played for the first time as an Olympic sport.
Lydia, 21, a graduate of the University of Derby, is an occupational therapist employed as a social inclusion development worker for the NHS foundation trust which covers the Stroud, Cirencester and the South Cotswolds region.
In her day job Lydia helps to educate people about mental wellbeing, working with local employers, organisations and voluntary sector services to raise awareness of mental health.
Her first rugby experience came at the age of 11 in the South Staffordshire tag tournament for Blakeley Heath Primary School and she joined her home town club of Stourbridge RFC at 13.
She plays on the wing for Worcester Warriors in the Women's Premiership and already has plenty of international experience, making her England debut against Spain in the 2012 European Cup when she scored a hat-trick of tries.
Her injury-time try against France in the same competition is now the stuff of legend. Picking up the ball late into the game she dashed 60 metres to snatch an England victory. She has scored nine tries in nine games for her country so far.
Her dad Keith played National League basketball and ran for Birchfield Harriers.
Lydia said: “I'm very excited to take part in the Scotland match.
“We’ve got a mixed squad, with some more experienced players and some less experienced, so it will be great to see how we all play together.
“It’s my second time playing in a Six Nations tournament and they are always great occasions. I’m really looking forward to playing on the weekend as well as the Sevens tournament after that.”
Social inclusion team manager Rebecca Shute said: “We are all really proud of Lydia’s sporting achievements.”