Rugby league: White’s World Cup dream set to begin

Stacey White with England coach Chris Chapman
Stacey White with England coach Chris Chapman

Everyone’s dream is to play for England, but for Stacey White, that dream has become a reality.

The 32-year-old is on the plane for the women’s Rugby League World Cup in Australia.

White, from Chichester, plays for the Bradford Bulls, who won the inaugural Women’s Super League grand final in October.

The loose forward took up rugby union in 2007 after joining the University of Chichester and branched out to play rugby league in 2012.

The PE teacher from Angmering School plays rugby union for Harlequins and has also played rugby sevens.

White said of her trip down under: “I’m super excited. I am very proud and honoured to be named among such a talented team.

I’m super excited. I am very proud and honoured to be named among such a talented team.

Stacey White

“The chance to represent my country has been my ambition, and my motivation and target for a long time now.”

The England team have been in training camps at York University, which has given them the chance to bond.

The team will make their way down under on November 10 and their first game will be up against Papua New Guinea on November 16.

Their second game in the group stage will be against the Aussies three days later and White said: “The nature of this tournament is quite brutal – demanding and relentless, and all those qualities we have been training for we are going to have to put into practice, but I think it’s going to be tough in the heat.

“They [Australia] are the home nation, they have been posting a lot on social media.

“They’re going to be the ones that we want to beat.”

England’s final group game will be against the Cook Islands on November 22. All the group-stage matches are in Sydney. Both semi-finals will also take place, also in Sydney, on November 26.

The women’s final will take place on the same day as the men’s on Saturday, December 2 in Brisbane.

It will be the first time both the men’s and women’s finals will have take place at the same time.

MICHAEL HELLYER