Grateful Claire Allan brings curtain down on England Sevens career to focus on police work

By Machuki Sundaa

Claire Allan says she is unable to fully express the gratitude that comes with wearing an England jersey as she brings the curtain down on her 12- year rugby career and focuses on her job with the Met Police.

She represented England in four World Cups in sevens and 15s, winning the 2014 World Cup with the Red Roses and playing for Great Britain Sevens at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2018 Commonwealth games.

During her playing career, she had to take a break from her job as a police officer.

‘It’s hard to put into words how grateful I am to have represented England and GB for the past decade,” Allan told England Rugby. “I started playing rugby when it was completely amateur, juggling a full time job while playing for club and country.

“Through the hard work of players and the RFU, I am so proud that younger players now have professional female rugby player role models to aspire to.”

Allan spent a big part of the 2019/18 world series recovering from injury and only played in three tournaments with Biarritz being her last assignment in professional rugby.

England Rugby quoted Allan as saying: “Highlights in my career have included participating in World Cups and an Olympic games. However, my warmest memories will always involve the fun and laughter I shared with my teammates over the years.

“Through the highs and lows, humour with the girls has been the most important thing. Rugby has gifted me with teammates I now call best friends, and that is without a doubt what I am most grateful for.

“ I would like to thank all the physios, doctors and coaches who assisted me during my career. Three ACL constructions and numerous ligaments in between, I couldn’t have done it without their support and guidance.

“Next for me is a return to the Met Police in October. I’m looking forward to a fresh focus and chance to make a difference although not looking forward to the shift work quite as much. Until then, I will most definitely make the most of a few celebratory drinks this summer.”

England coach James Bailey hailed Allen as a pioneer of the game.

“Claire has had an amazing career,” said Bailey. “She has been outstanding for England Rugby. She has led from the front and had some great achievements both in fifteens and the sevens game. She is definitely someone that we will sorely miss.

“Claire is all heart. She takes her enjoyment from the game from working really hard. She loves that part of sevens and you know that is what you’re going to get every time she takes the field – that unprecedented work rate for the team and that intensity that she brings.

“Claire’s impact has been massive. She is a pioneer of the game. The opportunities that players have now in a full-time programme playing on the world series as it currently s and being able to compete in the Olympic games is due to Claire and her like. What she’s done in terms of the foundations, setting those stones is massive, and we can’t ever overlook that.”

Main photo: Twitter

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