The biggest obstacle to Millie Wood’s rugby career was losing her mum Heidi to cancer in October 2012. Millie said: “It changed my family’s life and mine completely but rugby really helped me to take my mind off things and de-stress. Every time I play I try to do her proud and thank my family for being so supportive.”
Millie and her father Paul launched their own charity called ‘Heidi’s Heroes’ in 2013 as an ongoing and permanent tribute to her mum, who had won a Commonwealth Games swimming medal in 1978. Their three core objectives are to provide practical help and advice to those with cancer and their families; to support the bereaved and give disadvantaged children the courage and opportunity to learn a potentially life-saving skill – swimming.
Her most memorable rugby moments were scoring a try against Canada on her senior debut in July, along with a two-try performance for the University of Gloucestershire when the side won the BUCS title at Twickenham last year. Cheltenham born, she is in her third year of graphic design studies at the university.
She was previously educated at Greatfield Park Primary School and Cheltenham Bournside Secondary before doing A-levels at Hartpury College, alongside an AASE in rugby. Millie first laced up her boots at the age of 14 for ‘Supermiren’, an amalgamation of Minety, Supermarine and Cirencester. She now plays for Lichfield, having joined the club from Worcester and she figures at prop in sevens and centre at XVs.
She enjoyed three successful seasons with the England U20 team, captaining the side and shared in the three-game summer series triumph over Canada. Millie was handed an EPS sevens contract last September, and was the Red Roses’ top try-scorer with four in the Las Vegas World Series event in March. She also ran in a try in Kitakyushu the following month to take her total touchdowns to six in four tournaments.
Away from the game, she watches any sport except football, loves sitting in front of the TV in the company of her cat, particularly with a good curry. Millie used to be a shot putter and discus thrower and when she has some time off she goes down to the track and practises her throwing. She has also been inspired by the biography of Ronda Rousey, the Olympic Games judo medal winner. Her rugby idols are Gloucester’s James Simpson-Daniel and Olly Morgan.
10 points – 2T
2016 C, F(R), USA(R)
Last updated: 26 April 2017