Pioneer for professional women’s rubgy

A Moulton College graduate is part of the first professional squad of England women rugby union players.

Leanne Riley completed an advanced apprenticeship in sporting excellence at the college three years ago.

The 21-year-old, who plays on the wing, is one of 20 England women players who will be paid by the Rugby Football Union to train full-time and play for the national side.

Leanne, who was not part of the recent World Cup-winning team, will concentrate on preparing for 2014-15 Women’s Sevens World Series matches taking place across the USA, Netherlands, Canada and Britain over the next year.

She said: “It is an amazing feeling to be one of the first female professional rugby players. I would never have made it without my experience at Moulton College.”

Cap: Leanne Riley (pictured centre) playing for Moulton College.