|Weight||66kg (10st 5lb)|
Rachael comes from a rugby family background. Indeed, rugby was a sport she was born to play although there was a time in her younger life when dance classes also took up some of her time. Thankfully, rather than heading to the Pineapple Studios for a bit of high-kicking nonsense with Louis Spence, Rachael concentrated on rugby from the age of just six. She performed in the same team as her mother, Renata, and her sister, Louise, for a season at Medway RFC, a club where Rachael spent the first 10 years of her career playing. And, to ensure that there was a full house of Burfords at Medway, dad Michael also played for them as did her brother, Reuben. There was possibly even some talk of Medway changing their name to Burford RFC.
Rachael was, then, a product of Medway’s mini and youth sections and she has risen quickly since then, her talents being noticed early on in her life. She was selected to go to the Rugby Academy at Bath at the age of 16 before being advised to join a Premiership club to raise her experience levels.
So, it was off to Henley before she was picked for the England Under 19s, only for a couple of serious injuries meaning that nearly two seasons were lost. Thankfully, that did not put her back. A very talented Sevens player (she has skippered the England Sevens team), Rachael took part in the 2009 Sevens World Cup, her high spots including sharing in England’s Sevens triumph over Australia in the 2012 Hong Kong Sevens final.
The centre who plays for Thurrock these days has travelled the world with the sport she is so passionate about. She has spent time in Dubai, South Africa, Canada, France, Amsterdam, Prague, Rome, San Diego, Kinsale, China and Moscow. It’s unlikely that dance would have carried across the globe in the same manner.
At school, she was the only girl who played rugby. She tried to encourage some of her friends to play but, by all accounts, it wasn’t for them. “This meant that I made good friends with boys and, in many ways, I felt closer to them as we shared a common interest,” she said. Turns out that Rachael was rather better at rugby than those boys, too. The 27 year-old is now giving plenty back to the sport and is the rugby community coach for the RFU, working across rural Kent working to develop local rugby clubs.
Last updated: March 10, 2014