|Weight||85kg (13st 5lb)|
Identified by England coaches as a player of potential, Laura Keates won selection for the England U19 squad at the age of 16. She had taken up the game in the Bishop of Hereford Bluecoat U15 team, gained county honours, captained West Midlands U16 along with England U19 and U20 and also played at the Greyhound club in Hereford.
Laura, who was born in Tupsley, Herefordshire, won the accolade of a first senior England cap when starting the Nations Cup match that brought a 15-11 victory over the United States at Appleby College, Ontario in August, 2011. Three days later she played off the bench for Claire Purdy during the final 28 minutes in the 46-8 win over South Africa.
She was on the field for the ‘full 80’ in the Red Roses’ 22-10 success over Canada along the way to the final and three months later shared in the 10-0 triumph at Twickenham over the Black Ferns, the world champions, when replacing Rochelle Clark after 55 minutes. The second Test in which Laura started at tight head prop produced a 21-7 win at Esher.
Laura played off the bench in the final match of the series and was used in a similar role in the 47-0 victory over Scotland in February 2012. Her tenth cap came when she was in the starting line up for the Wales’ game at Twickenham later that month when England secured a six-try, 33-0 victory.
She played in every Six Nations Championship match in the 2012 series and figured off the bench in the opening FIRA-AER European Cup game at Rovereto, Italy in May before starting the second match against Italy that the Red Roses won 32-8 and then wearing the No. 3 shirt when her side beat France 29-25 in the final. Her 20th cap was in the 76-0 win over Scotland at Esher in early February this year and she has since played off the bench against Ireland and France and started the Italy and Wales matches.
Laura works as a lifeguard at Munrow Sports Centre, University of Birmingham and has a BSc in Zoology. Prop has been her position since she first played rugby, her favourite ground is Worcester and top player – Jonny Wilkinson.
Last updated: March 19, 2013