South Tyneside women’s football star Rachael Laws “can’t wait” to pull on the England goalkeeper’s jersey as the Lionesses prepare for the first international of their tour of China.
Laws, from Hebburn, plays for Sunderland and is one of three goalkeepers in Mark Sampson’s squad who face China tonight and Australia on Tuesday.
Laws is not aware if or where she will be required but says she is “excited” at the prospect.
It is the second time the 24-year-old has been involved in the England squad, after being named in a World Cup qualifier last year against Montenegro, though she did not play.
She said: “It’s a very exciting time to be involved with the England squad and in women’s football.
“They are expecting a capacity crowd of 10,000 here for the China game.
“Yesterday we had a walk around the town and people were stopping us for photos.
“China were in the World Cup in the summer, and women’s football is big here.
“Today it was down to work and we trained, so it was nice to do a session with the squad.
“We don’t know what the team is, but I can’t wait for the matches to start and, if I get a chance, I’ll look to take it.”
It is a proud moment for Laws and for Hebburn to get an England football international.
Laws is joined in the squad by Sunderland team-mate Beth Mead.
She added: “There are a lot of North East girls in the England squad. Our family is football-mad, my dad and brother both played.
“I think my family are proud – my mam says I’ve been in the paper and mentioned on the local news.”