Emma Henighan, 20, from Baschurch, has trained with the England Deaf women’s rugby squad for four years, representing them at Twickenham, the Principality in Cardiff and junior competitions in Europe.

She will now play her first big international tournament as hooker – as part of the England Deaf Rugby Union’s (EDRU) tour of South Africa, next year.

The women and men who compete in the EDRU are either completely deaf or have a hearing loss of approximately 40 decibels over both ears. Emma who is completely deaf in one ear, said: “I don’t care where I play, so long as I get to wear an England senior shirt.  “I’m most looking forward to representing England Deaf alongside people who have the same disability as me – especially in South Africa.  “It’ll be a big test but I’m super excited.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to get together and represent England with others who understand our disability.”

When not in training, Emma works as a bar manager at the Old Orleton Inn in Wellington, where locals have dubbed her ‘beep beep’ referencing the Road Runner cartoon character who doesn’t stop running.

“It’s all good banter, I know they are thrilled for me,” she added.  “I’d love to come home with a winner’s medal for them and particularly for my family.”  Emma’s next challenge is to raise the £1,500 she needs to cover the cost of the three-match tour which starts in May 2020.