WORLD Cup rugby star Natasha Hunt has told the Newsletter about her “overwhelming” new fame and revealed her guilty pleasure.
The 25-year-old, who is also a PE teacher at Stafford’s Sir Graham Balfour High School, was part of the victorious England women’s rugby team, which defeated Canada in Paris on Sunday, August 17.
Natasha played a vital role in the game before being substituted in the 77th minute. England eventually ran out winners 21-9, the team's first tournament victory since 1994.
“It’s been incredible and it’s boosted women’s rugby in the UK,” she said.
“It’s just been overwhelming. I’ve had so many good luck messages and it was amazing when Prince Harry sent a message of support to the team.
“Twitter has gone wild with people saying how well we’ve done and that they’ve been inspired to get involved in the sport.”
Natasha, who plays scrum half for Lichfield and England, said the London 2012 Olympic Games spring-boarded the popularity of women’s sport.
“The England women’s cricket team have gone semi-pro. It’s a really good time for women’s sport,” she added.
Natasha’s sporting career began when she was 17 and her PE teacher asked her to try rugby - she fell in love with it.
She said: “People who love rugby tend to see the game for what it is. It doesn’t matter if it’s being played by women or men, although women’s rugby tends to involve more running and the ball is in play a lot more.”
Natasha’s England dream became reality in the space of a few months, with her progressing from the West Midland trials, high performance academy and then the England under-20 women’s rugby trials.
But Natasha will be returning back to school as a PE teacher in September.
She said: “A lot of the kids follow the game and one of my best memories is when about 70 colleagues and kids came to see us play Wales.
“All of this has opened their eyes to women’s rugby, but when I’m in school I’m still just their teacher and it’s humbling and a credit to those kids.”
Guilty pleasure: baking – “I just love eating and it’s a nice treat”
Favourite film: Elf, Erin Brockovich
Favourite book: Harry Potter
Favourite food: Grandma’s chicken roast.