Lucas looking to inspire girls after World Cup experience

PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 August 2017

Justine Lucas (centre) looks dejected after England's defeat to New Zealand in the women's Rugby World Cup Final (pic Brian Lawless/PA)

Justine Lucas (centre) looks dejected after England's defeat to New Zealand in the women's Rugby World Cup Final (pic Brian Lawless/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Baldock’s Justine Lucas suffered Rugby World Cup final heartache with England’s women against New Zealand in Belfast.

Lucas came off the bench as the Red Roses lost 41-32 to the Black Ferns, surrendering their crown in the process, but admitted it had been a memorable tournament.

“My World Cup experience, regardless of the result, was pretty amazing,” said Lucas.

“As a squad we were really tight and I made some amazing memories. In Dublin we stayed in a flat, myself, Amy Cokayne, Harriet Millar-Mills, Lydia Thompson, Rocky Clark and Heather Kerr – we always had a jigsaw and cup of tea on the go!

“Throughout the tournament we trained really well together and built towards the final. A lot of players, my friends and family made my experience incredible with their words and gestures.

“It meant the world to have so many there to support me at the final and all the other supporters who were so proud of what we had done. It was just a shame not to bring the trophy home.”

Prop Lucas came off the bench in the 56-5 win over Spain, started the 56-13 win over Italy and came off the bench in the 47-26 win over the USA, the 20-3 success over France and in the final.

And she was pleased with how she played, adding: “I was generally happy with my performances. I would’ve liked more game time, but competing with Sarah Bern for tight head, it was always going to be tough and she had an amazing tournament.

“I felt I added energy and played to my strengths when I was on, but I will review my performances in detail to ensure I continue to improve this season.”

As well as developing her own career back in the new Tyrell Premier 15s, ahead of Autumn Internationals and Six Nations, Lucas is also hoping to inspire more girls to take up rugby.

“My earliest memory of rugby is playing a bit at school with my PE teacher at KTS, Miss Ward,” she added. “I remember running through everyone and being really enthusiastic! I didn’t play again until my second year of uni where I went to a taster session and got told I needed to quit football and take up rugby, which I did the following year and haven’t looked back!

“Despite the result, we have moved the sport, and women’s sport in general, forward. I hope we can play a part in inspiring young girls all around the country and I hope in Baldock as well!”

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