FIRST ENGLAND CALL-UP FOR TALENTED RUGBY LEAGUE ATHLETE
The women’s Rugby League World Cup starts next week. We spoke to TASS athlete Zoe Hornby to find out how she’s feeling about the challenge.
TASS: How did it feel when you were asked to be part of the Rugby League World Cup?
ZH: Disbelief, I’ve only been playing rugby league at super league standard for 2 seasons with Leeds Rhinos, I never thought about the opportunities it could provide me let alone so soon. I was absolutely buzzing and genuinely couldn’t stop smiling when I found out. It doesn’t get much bigger than this in Rugby League.
TASS: How has the training been with the England squad?
ZH: Training has been tough; it’s been some of the hardest/most physically and mentally demanding training/preparation I’ve ever done but also the most rewarding. It’s provided many challenges which ultimately has allowed me to grow and develop rapidly.
TASS: When did you start playing Rugby?
ZH: I started league when I was about 12, I was 20 when I first trained with Leeds Rhinos academy. I switched briefly to rugby union for geographical and university reasons and got back into league at Rhinos after the pandemic.
TASS: You receive TASS support at Northumbria Uni. Can you explain how that’s helped you?
ZH: TASS is extremely helpful, great for anyone who is non-stop with sport/gym/uni and work. Whether it’s about nutrition/injury prevention and most importantly the psychological side of the game. It’s helped me to develop myself as a rugby player and to be the best version on myself.
TASS: How does your World Cup schedule look now?
ZH: BUSY, it’s been a wild couple of weeks but we are now in a deload week before moving into camp on 28th October. Very exciting and very well organised by all the staff so the transition from our Super League season has been made super easy!
TASS: What are you looking forward to most?
ZH: Being a part of such an elite and friendly group of athletes and representing my country. Whilst showing girls from the North East that there are opportunities to play high league Rugby League.
TASS: What else would you like to achieve in your Rugby career?
ZH: I aspire to inspire. Whether that’s from my playing career or even a coaching career. I want to help shape the women’s game and ensure its accessible to everyone in the country.