A student who came late to the game of rugby has been selected to play for Leicester Tigers.
Lucrezia Iavarone started her rugby career playing for the University of Leicester women’s team in 2018, whilst studying Criminology.
After progressing with the uni team, Lucrezia’s talent for rugby earned her a call up for Tigers in a friendly match, in 2021.
The outside back, who is now studying a postgraduate Master’s in Crime, Justice and Psychology, impressed the club so much, she’s now signed up for Leicester’s 2022-23 season.
Lucrezia, who is originally from Italy, said: “It’s really hard to believe that I’m in the team and it’s just amazing also because I haven’t played rugby for long. It’s only been four years, so honestly, it’s just unbelievable and a great honour.
“It’s not something that I expected because of when I decided to start playing rugby. A few years ago, I was playing for the university and now I’m playing for Tigers.”
Explaining her path to success, Iavarone said: “I started playing in the championship during my second year at the University after I played for the county squad.
“Some people told me ‘Why don’t you join our team in Loughborough so that you can play for a club as well?’ because university rugby is obviously different from club rugby.“I was like, ‘yeah why not? I have time, I like rugby, so I’ll give it a try’.”
“At the beginning of the 2021-22 season, I was playing for Loughborough then there was a Tigers friendly, and I am not quite sure how, but they knew that I was decent enough, so they asked me if I wanted to play for Tigers in the friendly, and I was like, ‘sure’. “That’s how it started, with I think two or three more friendlies after that one and they kept asking me if I wanted to play.”
Lucrezia said that the first thing she did after finding out that she had been selected for the squad was call her parents.
Looking back at what she learned from the University of Leicester’s rugby team, Lucrezia said: “Probably to always trust my abilities. “If I have the ball, for example, run. Don’t be scared to do what you’re good at. Your teammates are there to help you, so if you run your teammates can support you.
“Also, don’t hesitate. Just trust yourself because rugby it’s not like other sports, sometimes it can be a bit daunting or a bit scary. If you trust your abilities and your teammate, you will do well. Then finally, enjoy it!”
Leicester Tigers Women’s team will next play Bishop Auckland Ladies away on Sunday, September 18.