England’s Sasha Acheson is on a drive to get more women into rugby — but she is determined her own World Cup dream is far from over.
The former Sudbury Rugby Club front row specialist, now with Bristol Ladies, has spent a year on the sidelines after shattering her knee.
It cruelly ruled her out of the Women’s World Cup in France last August, where she watched on as her England team-mates went on to make history by winning the tournament.
But after her career on the pitch hung in the balance, she has revealed she is set to make a return this season, and is also hoping to bring more women into the game.
“I am not back running yet, but next season is looking really promising,” said the 23-year-old who was a special guest of Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club at their Greene King International Sevens tournament on Sunday.
“It was said to me that you will never play again but my surgeon has said he is quietly confident I will be back at some point next season.
“I’m not sure when, but I am really looking forward to coming back.
“I have every single intention you can ever imagine of playing in the 2017 World Cup.
“I obviously need to prove myself, but of course I intend to do that.”
The 23-year-old moved into managing Bristol last season but has relinquished the role to get her playing career back up-and-running.
And she is also in the process of launching a new business with the Princes Trust, called ‘Breaking Boundaries’ that will look to give women a helping hand to get into the game.
“Breaking Boundaries is all about exposing women athletes to the grassroots clubs in sport,” said Acheson, who hails from Lawshall, where her family still live.
“It involves coaching, mentoring and other things and hopefully I am going to be bringing that to Bury.
“So we can bring a larger contingent of athletes over here who have played representative rugby and can expose and develop women in a way that would be a be a really big step for them.”
She hopes to get the rugby camps tailored to females launched by late summer, in readiness for next season.