A FURNESS College sports student is celebrating after being called up to the England Students women’s rugby league squad.

Beth Lindsay, who is studying a Level 3 Diploma in Sport at the Channelside campus, is one of 24 students who have been selected to represent her country at this level - and the only Cumbrian.

The 19-year-old, who plays for Barrow Ladies, last year’s runners-up in the Women’s Championship, is not part of a Super League academy and said she was shocked to get the call.

“When I went to the trial, I didn’t know anyone so at first I felt nervous and shy but as it’s a game I enjoy, I quickly became comfortable, which evidently paid off,” she said.

“The experience, to say I have worn an England shirt will be a massive honour. To be playing with and against the best in the country will push me as a player and I will be challenged, but I think I am up to the task and hopefully prove it too.”

The squad will compete in the relaunched President’s Cup, where they will be playing against the Great Britain Teachers Squad on Wednesday, March 18 and the Great Britain Armed Forces on Wednesday, May 20.

In addition, they will compete to win the Pankhurst Cup, where they will be playing against the Leeds Rhinos Academy on Wednesday, April 22.

Lindsay, who is also part of the College Football Academy in partnership with Barrow AFC, will receive regular training with the squad, which will be led by some of the best coaches in the country in preparation for the fixtures.

The former Chetwynde School pupil, whose career ambition is to be a PE teacher, is holding offers from several universities to study for a degree in sports science.

She said her family and tutors were hugely supportive of her combining her rugby with her college study.

“The support I have been given on the course at Furness College has led me to receive unconditional offers from some universities including my first-choice,” she said.

Furness College Sports Lecturer Sarah Chapman said: “This is a great achievement for Beth who has been selected alongside women who play for well-known teams including St Helens, Wigan and Wakefield.

We are all really proud of her and have seen her grow in confidence as the course has progressed.”

Lindsay is also hoping to be selected to take part in the tour next year that is being organised to celebrate the Women and Men’s Rugby League World Cups being held in England.