Her formative years set up Deborah Fleming’s route into the England squad.
She was encouraged by her father Charles, who coached her at athletics from the age of nine until her mid-teens.
Deborah said: “Dad had me doing crazy sessions, running up sand dunes and through the sea in winter, circuits in the house, dragging car tyres up hills and other ‘old school’ training sessions.
“All that taught me to work hard and gave me a good training foundation that eventually took me into rugby at the age of 21. My parents always said, ‘the diligent will prosper’, so I have taken this ethos into most things that I do.”
Born in the Cornish village of Gulval, Deborah attended the local primary school, Mounts Bay Academy, Truro College and the University of Bath, where she obtained a BA in Sport and Social Science.
She played for Bristol before joining Saracens and helped them to finish as Premiership runners-up.
Deborah, who lives in Headington, Oxford, plays wing in XVs and is a forward in sevens.
She scored a maiden try against Russia in the bronze medal final during her World Series debut tournament in Dubai in 2016 and has appeared in every tournament since.
She was England’s highest points scorer in the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in 2018 with 90 and was selected for the World Cup Sevens that year.
Deborah added that the thing she enjoys most about the sport is the freedom of the pitch and her most memorable game was when England beat Fiji in the quarter finals of the World Series in 2017.
Last updated: 10 July 2018.