Rugby World Cup: England's Abbie Ward inspires girls in hometown of Keswick

The Red Roses star has been pivotal as her side get set to take on New Zealand in the final of the Women's World Cup following their 26-19 win against Canada in the semi-final.

Dumfries-born Ward, who grew up in Keswick and attended Keswick & Sedbergh School, started playing rugby aged 10.

She is now proving to be a role-model for the next generation of women looking to make it in the sport.

Alan Weightman, director of women’s rugby Keswick RFC, said: “Now we have got 60 plus girls playing and we have just started a women’s team.

"We have got 40 women playing rugby and because of the interest in rugby at the club they now are more interested in the international rugby and are all well aware that these girls played for the club and that says anyone can do it.”

Simon Mulholland, director of rugby at Sedbergh School, said: “She is just an amazing role model for the girls and being a huge and really influential factor behind rugby starting up at Sedbergh.

"We have only really restarted in the last 24 months and in particular the last 12 months we have had real interest and it has been amazing for us that we have now entered the Rosslyn Park national sevens for the first time in the history of the school.”

Annie Cooke, from Sedbergh School, said: "It just shows in a rugby school like this anything can happen and Abbie is such an inspiration to us. It really inspires the girls to try and achieve what she has.”

There has been a rise in interest from women who want to take up the sport.