Former Ely Tigers makes her mark in World Cup

Anna Goddard

Anna Goddard - Credit: Archant

Rugby Former Ely College student Anna Goddard was among the try scorers for the England touch rugby women’s squad at the World Cup in Australia, which was retained by the hosts.

The 17-year-old former Ely Tigers player, who studies at Hartpury College, in Gloucester, on a special rugby programme, and the youngest member of the 16-strong squad, scored her only try in the match against Japan.

The competition, at Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, was played in challenging conditions, as a severe weather front turned the pitches into quagmires. One day’s play was lost to the weather.

As Goddard’s skill is throwing a dummy and stepping round a defender, the pitches proved a challenge, her single try coming in a match played on firm ground.

Goddard made her debut against defending champions Australia, and also figured in matches against tournament runners-up New Zealand, Japan and Singapore, England eventually finishing in sixth place.

“Despite the disappointment of the weather, I had an amazing time,” said Goddard. “Now I’m hoping to be selected for the European Championships next summer.”

Goddard, who started playing touch rugby four years ago in Cambridge, was in the England under-18s at the European touch tournament in Swansea last year, where they finished runners-up to Wales. The former Ely College pupil started playing rugby at Ely aged six, before switching to Newmarket at 12 to join their girls team.