A COACH at Oswestry Rugby Club has spoken of his pride after one of his players represented England on the weekend.

Abi Kershaw, pictured, who plays for Oswestry under-18s, was part of the England U18s side who recorded a 39-5 victory over Scotland on Sunday at Preston Grasshoppers’ home ground.

The 16-year-old played the full 70 minutes of the game which was her first at U18s level for her country.

Oswestry Rugby club under-18s coach Matt Bowyer said the Oswestry youngster “shone” in her debut performance.

He said: “We’re all very proud of her.

“She earned the shirt to begin with and when she wore it on the day, she showed she deserved to be wearing it.

“She was playing shoulder-to-shoulder with really talented and more experienced girls, and I’d go as far as saying she shone in the game.

“She took a strong organisational role and was heavily involved in a lot of set plays.

“Two of the tries involved her, including one which she played the final pass for.

“For one of the smaller players on the pitch she stood up very well in the tackle.”

The England side led 15-5 at half-time before returning to the pitch in even better form in the second half to take a 39-5 win.

Matt said he was especially pleased with how well Abi handled the pressure of the situation.

He added: “I expected her to be a bit nervous, but she didn’t seem it at all.

“She was wearing the Oswestry training top when she was warming up which was nice to see.

“I think she was a bit taken aback when she entered the changing room and saw all the kits there and especially hers with her name on.

“She was the only back to play the full 70-minute game which is another impressive thing to take away from the game.

“Considering the conditions and the heavy pitch, I’d go as far as saying it was one of the best performances she has had.”

England’s women’s U18s side next face Wales at Cardiff in April.