A hugely influential figure in the development of women’s rugby as a player, coach and administrator. 

The eldest of five sisters, Carol Isherwood first became involved in rugby in 1981 when she set up a women’s team while studying at Leeds University, and has remained fully committed ever since, her services to the sport being recognised with an OBE in 2003. 

The Lancastrian captained the first-ever Great Britain and England women’s sides of the mid-80s and was awarded a combined total of 15 caps before retiring in 1992 due to a serious knee injury.

Isherwood then embarked on a successful career as a coach, assisting England at Women’s Rugby World Cup 1994, as well as being head coach for Emerging England, England U19 and leading club sides Henley and Richmond. 

In 2008, she was voted the IRB Women’s Sports Personality of the Year and the following year became the first woman to be appointed to the IRB Rugby Committee.

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