Amber Reed, member of England Women’s triumphant World Cup squad, is earning her coaching badges at Bloxham School in Oxfordshire.
To say Amber Reed has a hectic rugby life is an understatement. The 23 year-old graduate sports coach combines playing for Bristol and England by working at the school where her duties include looking after the Under 15 side that compete in the NatWest Schools Cup.
“I’m very busy but it is a tremendous opportunity to get a teaching career underway,” says Reed whose family is steeped in the game, including uncle Andy, the former Scotland and Lions lock.
Her own sports career does not only includes rugby but has brought county honours for Gloucestershire at cricket and hockey for Bristol.
And her all-round ability is reflected by her also coaching netball, athletics and cricket at the Banbury school. She was also a very decent footballer and took up rugby when a pupil at Colston’s.
“I’m indebted to the work of Ben Berry. He coached the girls’ team at Colston’s and introduced a number of us to the sport.”
“Another big inspiration was Jo Yapp at Exeter University. She has done an amazing job there in bringing players through and a lot of us have benefited from her experience as a player. I don’t think I would have progressed like I have without the influence of people like Ben and Jo.”
Reed has been included in England’s latest Elite Player Squad and hopes to add to her 18 caps, which include one appearance in the triumphant women’s World Cup campaign last summer.
“I was a little disappointed only to play one match, but you have to remember that Emily Scarratt and Rachael Burford played some of their best rugby of their careers. The whole experience in France was a huge thrill and just to be involved was a big honour. To win the Cup at the end was a big reward for a lot of hard work by a lot of people.”
As for the coaching and her Under 15 team, Reed admits that she does get a little nervous.
“I’m always a little tense just before a match kicks offs. You want your team to do well and to get something out of their matches and to progress,” she explained.
Last season, the Bloxham Under 15s reached the sixth round of the Cup before losing to Aylesbury Grammar School, 13-6.
“We have a smaller squad this season and the results have gone against us so far,” reported Reed about defeats to Cokethorpe in the Cup, 26-14, and Marling, in the Vase, 12-10.