Evie's delight at call up for national team
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
A DALE rugby player is celebrating after being selected for the England Fire Brigades rugby team.
Apprentice firefighter Evie Peacock will earn her first national fire brigade cap when she takes to the field during a festival, in Cheshire, in June.
Covid restrictions meant the 19-year-old did not have to undergo trials for the team and she was selected purely on her experience and achievements while playing for Barnard Castle Rugby Club’s Gatorz team.
The former Teesdale School pupil took up the sport in Year 7, aged just 11.
She said: “I was asked to play but I wasn’t sure until I was told I could get a day off school. I loved it.”
Like her father, who was also a rugby player, Evie has enjoyed all forms of sport since childhood and also played netball and football at school.
She said: “In school I played everything, but at 16 you haven’t got the time and I chose rugby. I like the team spirit and the physicality and discipline – this has crossed over into the fire service where discipline is so important.”
Ms Peacock is currently into the second year of her three-year apprenticeship at Bishop Auckland Fire Station and is already fully qualified as a firefighter.
Having played with the Gatorz since the team was established, the second-rower’s most memorable game was their first match against a team from Hartlepool.
She said: “It was the first time a women’s team from Barnard Castle had played. Although we lost it was such a lot of fun.”
Her colleagues at Barnard Castle Rugby Club are equally proud of her selection to the national fire brigade team.
Her coach Paul Davis said: “‘It’s a fantastic achievement for Evie. To think we have an England representative makes everyone in the club feel proud of being part of her journey. It is only four years since we actually formed a female section, the first time in club history.
“Evie actually played in the first ever game and to see her progress from U15s to ladies is credit to her own ability and commitment. We all wish her well for her debut.”