Source: Christopher Lee/Getty Images for Harlequins

England’s firefighter honoured

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England’s Shaunagh Brown has been given the accolade of her portrait going up at the home of rugby as she gives up her ‘day job’ as a firefighter to focus full-time on rugby.

Brown has a new five foot high picture of herself erected at Twickenham in time for when she expects to play at HQ on November 21st against France. She says; ‘ It is in the tunnel where the players come out onto the pitch. Sadly, not where crowds can see it (when they come back) but a huge honour’!  It is putting us out there and being proud of our people and differences in our squad’.

‘It is always special, whatever the circumstances’, she adds about the forthcoming Twickenham match.

Hers is among the first ever life-size pictures of an England star woman international at the ground.

The new recognition of the talents of England’s prop comes as she wants to fully focus on sport. ‘I’m stepping away from working as a firefighter to concentrate on the world cup campaign.’

After being part of the Grand Slam winners she adds; ‘It is a good time to do just rugby. I have left my fire job for the next three years, though it has been left open for me after that’.

Meanwhile, Brown has been enjoying the tweaks to the rules in the club women’s game which were in reaction to the covid pandemic.

‘Cutting down the number of scrums from around 10 or so to 3 or 4 suits my style. I’m not so tired and us props have remembered we can run and carry the ball. It is good to get more running rugby and flow. It is like me being a flanker again.’

Brown was one of only a handful of England professional players who were still juggling a second career.

‘We don’t get a bonus for winning the Slam. But the kudos for winning it in two consecutive years for England is putting our set up even more in public eyes’.

England PR Emily Liles said; ‘Out of the central contract squad, very few still make their main living by working elsewhere.’ Harriet Millar Mills is a teacher and covid-struck scrum half Natasha Hunt was also trained in that profession. ‘England wing Lydia Thompson was very rare as also having NHS work, she was an occupational therapist’.