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Claire Purdy


Key Facts

Height1.64m (5'5")
Weight89kg (14st 0lb)


Versatility is a big part of Claire Purdy's game - she's very proud she's played in every position in the front row for England - but also in her life. Despite securing a degree in Sports Studies from University College, Chichester, when she's not out-scrummaging opponents, you'll find her in Farnborough as an Underwriter for Zurich Insurance where you may find her opponents an even tougher nut to crack.

But it's sport that runs through her veins and that probably has something to do with her father representing Great Britain and England as a canoeist.

Claire didn't find rugby till she was 21 though. Why? Because she was busy representing Surrey at stoolball. What? We didn't know either...  they call it "Cricket in the Air". Dating back to the 15th Century, milkmaids would use their milking stools as a "wicket" and try to bat a ball away, rather like a cross between cricket and rounders.

Those skills might not have helped (actually, they just might have) in the transfer to England's front row. But Claire settled into the squad and even got the honour of being made captain for a game against South Africa in 2013. A game she names as her most memorable. The captaincy played its part but the fact the game was delayed due to a tornado stays long in the memory.

She's bagged 36 caps since joining the squad but it's not just in the international arena where she excels. Since joining her club Wasps - her only club - she was named Players' Player of the Year in 2007, 2009 and 2011 - a pretty good effort given that history seems to forget props when it comes to awards.

Last updated: March 18, 2014

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