|Weight||68kg (10st 9lb)|
Starting in the pack has proved no barrier to Lydia Thompson moving not only into the backs but playing on the wing and scoring six tries in her first three Test matches during the FIRA-AER European Cup at Rovereto, Italy last May. She ran in a hat trick on her debut against Spain with two tries coming in the space of four minutes.
Lydia also crossed the Italy line in the second game that her side won 32-8 and then added two in the 29-25 victory over France in the final match that culminated in her stunning winner from a 60-metre run in injury time. She said: “It was such an amazing team effort with everyone giving their all.”
Her Six Nations debut was in the 76-0 defeat of Scotland at Esher in February this year and she also started the match against Italy that produced a 34-0 victory on the same ground the following month. A try against Wales at Aberavon in March took her Test match total to seven in six games.
She has played Sevens for England in Romania, Dubai and Hong Kong and most recently in the third World Series event in March this year when she scored a try in the opening match against hosts China. It was Lydia’s sixth touchdown in four tournaments. She is now in her third and final year of studies for a BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy at Derby University and is also a part time swimming teacher in Wolverhampton and Birmingham.
Her first rugby experience was at the age of 11 in the South Staffordshire Tag tournament for Blakeley Heath Primary School. She later attended Ounsdale High in Wombourne and King Edward VI College in her home town of Stourbridge.
Stourbridge-born, she played for the local club, based in Stourton, from 2004-06 and appeared at age group level for Worcester before stepping up to the senior squad at Sixways three years ago. She said: “Tom Cowdale, an England Deaf player, is my coach and mentor, along with my father Keith, who played National League basketball and ran for Birchfield Harriers. I have also been inspired by Worcester’s coaches and first team squad.”
Lydia’s memorable rugby event was playing in the 2011 Amsterdam Sevens in which she scored a long range try in the final against Canada. She admires Sonny Bill Williams and Chris Ashton “for their combination of speed, strength, footwork and their ability to change a game.”
One of five uncapped players in the starting side for the England XV match against France at Marseille in 2011, she had the delight of scoring her side’s try in a 14-5 defeat.
Last updated: April 5, 2013