RUGBY World Cup-winning captain Katy Mclean will return to her North East home today – and says life has been a “whirlwind” since she lifted the trophy on Sunday.
Katy, from South Shields, skippered England to a 21-9 victory over Canada in the final in Paris, as her country won the trophy for the first time in 20 years.
She spent the early part of this week in London, but is set to return to the region today to see friends and family for the first time since being involved in the sporting triumph.
The 28-year-old, who works as a primary school teacher at Bexhill Academy, in Sunderland, said: “It has been a whirlwind since the final. There has been a lot of media work, and it has been amazing to have so many people stop us to say ‘Congratulations’.
“People have been so, so happy for us and have shared that with us, although I’m yet to see my friends and family.
“These moments are so special that you don’t want to lose them and you don’t want them to stop, so we have dragged them out before we do go home and finally see our friends and family, and celebrate with them.”
The rugby star won an MBE for her services to the sport in the New Year Honour’s list – with the World Cup triumph adding to a growing list of achievements.
She started playing rugby due to her dad, David, who played for Westoe.
She was inspired by English World Cup-winning fly-half Jonny Wilkinson – and has even had the chance to kick alongside him.
Mclean had been vice-captain four years ago as England lost the World Cup final to New Zealand.
It was the third World Cup in succession England had lost in the final, but the team put those demons to rest with their victory in France.
Mclean is now ready for more celebrations after an “unreal” few days.
She added: “I’ll probably have a big celebration with friends and family on Friday night, and then on Saturday at some point it will be quite nice to chill out.
“I’ve got to go back to work on Monday, but at the moment it’s all about celebrating the World Cup and enjoying these moments.
“We’ve done so much in the last week, including appearing on BBC Breakfast and having a reception at Twickenham with the Rugby Football Union staff – the week has just been unreal.”
n Don’t miss our full exclusive interview with Katy next week