Bury St Edmunds teen has Touch World Cup in her sights after double European success
After conquering Europe twice this summer, Bury St Edmunds teenager Lucy Norburn has now set her sights on a place in the England squad for the Touch World Cup in Malaysia in 2019.
The West Suffolk College student has been selected in England’s high performance squad, which will see her take part in monthly training camps before the squad is cut down to 16 at the start of next year.
At 17, Norburn would be one of the youngest players in the England squad, if selected, but mother Kathryn says she is determined to do it and will give it her best shot to earn a seat on the plane to Malaysia next April.
The Touch World Cup, which was first held back in 1999, is staged once every four years, and in 2015 the England Women’s team finished in sixth place, after narrowly losing out to Japan 5-4 in a fifth and sixth place play-off.
The previous two World Cups, in 2011 and 2007, saw England finish fourth on both occasions, and in 2003 and 1999 they did not enter.
After winning gold with England Women at the European Touch Rugby Championships, in Nottingham, in July, the 17-year-old was back representing her country in the European Junior Championships with England Girls the following month.
The tournament took on a round-robin format, with England up against Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Arabian Gulf and the Middle East.
Norburn helped England to pick up eight wins and two draws from their 10 round-robin fixtures, which saw them top the table, with 36 points, and then edge past Wales 3-2 in the gold-medal match.
Away from touch rugby, Norburn is also making strides in rugby union. The teen was recently selected into the Centre of Excellence Programme at Saracens.
After successfully coming through the trials in August, Norburn was picked for the year-long programme, which sees her train at the Gallagher Premiership club twice a month.