|Weight||81kg (12st 10lb)|
Since making her Test debut against Scotland six years ago, Sophie Hemming has quickly added to her caps and marked her landmark 40th appearance with a maiden try in the 31-0 away win over Ireland at Ashbourne in 2010-11. In that match, her side secured a Six Nations Grand Slam and a sixth consecutive championship.
She scored her second international try in the Nations Cup in August 2011 during the 46-8 victory over South Africa and played through the entire game when England achieved one of their greatest triumphs by beating the Black Ferns 10-0 at Twickenham the following November.
Three days later, she helped her side to an historic series win when New Zealand were beaten 21-7 at Esher and started the third Test that yielded an 8-8 draw. She went on to play in four Six Nations matches last year and celebrated her 50th cap in style when England secured the Grand Slam with a 23-6 win over Ireland at Esher.
Chelmsford-born Sophie had previously played for England Students, Academy and A team. She took up the game when 19 while studying at Bristol University from 2000-04 for a degree (BVSc MRCVS) in Veterinary Science. A product of Norwich High School in East Anglia, she now works at the Avenue Veterinary Centre in Staple Hill, Bristol.
Emily Ryall, one of her first coaches, pushed her to have trials with the regional high performance academy. She was also the inspiration behind Sophie refusing to retire from the game because of a broken leg. Matt Hawkes, her England Students’ coach, also gave encouragement and instilled the belief that she could play for the senior national side.
She has captained Bristol Ladies, also led England Students and was vice captain of the full England team in the 2010 Six Nations match against Scotland. Sophie was a Grand Slam winner in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and was named as Bristol Ladies and the England Coaches’ Player of the Season in 2011. She won the Linda Uttley Award last year that recognises the commitment and dedication of an individual.
Sophie, whose hobbies are mountain biking, climbing and squash, was inspired by the 13,500 crowd at the 2010 World Cup final against New Zealand at Twickenham Stoop. She said: “The anthems and hearing ‘Swing Low’ echo around the stadium was amazing."
Last updated: February 25, 2013