It’s a massive coup for the club to secure the services of the multi-talented, 65-times capped hooker who was an integral part of England’s 2014 World Cup-winning side in France.
Most recently, Fleetwood was on international duty last weekend as a member of the England Sevens squad which lifted the Challenge Trophy at the World Cup Sevens in San Francisco.
OEs Women’s Director of Rugby Catherine Paynter (was Spencer) believes Fleetwood’s guest coaching session at the club can only have a positive effect on her squad as they step up pre-season preparations for life in the third tier of English Women's League rugby next season.
“I am delighted that Vicky is going to be sharing some of her valuable knowledge with the team,” Paynter said. “Vicky now has a wealth of experience of both the 7’s and 15’s game and we are really lucky to be able to tap into some of that at College Meadow.
“We have been trying really hard to offer different experiences to the team as we continue to build; Graham Smith (World Cup winning coach) visited College Meadow last year and Vicky’s guest coaching session will add to that momentum.
“Vicky is a dynamic player who is always full of energy and always on the front foot. I am hoping that we can take inspiration from this as we move in to the Championship SE league.”
The Nuneaton-born diet and nutrition adviser began playing rugby at the age of 14 after tiring of watching her brother play. She moved to Saracens from Lichfield after the Women’s World Cup success in 2014.
First capped in 2011 at the age of 21, Fleetwood is a woman of many talents; a former junior hurdler, a personal trainer and a Rugby World Cup winner who was also a losing finalist in the 2017 tournament.
After scoring two tries in her first 56 Tests, Fleetwood bagged a hat-trick in the 29-15 win over Italy at The Stoop in February 2017. It was the first hat-trick by a front row forward in the history of the Women’s Six Nations with her three tries spanning only 19 minutes and she went on to play in every match of the championship.
Fleetwood was first involved in England Sevens at the Rugby Europe Grand Prix in Kazan in 2015 and played the final three legs of the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series in 2018.
“I’m looking to do as much coaching as possible as it’s something that I enjoy,” Fleetwood said, “but to deliver a session to a team like Elthamians with a good understanding of the game, where most players have more playing years’ experience than I’ve had - that will really push me and I’ll learn a lot from it. With my playing background, I feel that I can offer detailed skill development to forwards, but in particular the front row.
“With the range of training that I’ve experienced over the years, being involved in both 15s and 7s at international level, I hope that I can transfer some of the skills that I’ve learnt, and help others if only to broaden their mindset or brush up on a skill.”
New players are always welcome as OEs Women gear up for the new league campaign. For more information, please email Catherine Paynter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated 14:03 - 7 Aug 2018 by Jon Edwards