Rugby ace aiming to follow in mum’s footsteps

Naomi Garbutt pictured before her Yorkshire debut earlier this month
Naomi Garbutt pictured before her Yorkshire debut earlier this month

Young rugby prospect Naomi Garbutt is aiming to follow in the footsteps of her mum Emma, a former England international.

College student recently received her first county call-up, and it is believed that the Garbutts are the first mother and daughter to have both represented Yorkshire.

Naomi’s next aim is to win a place in the North of England squad, and ultimately she hopes to emulate her mother, who played as a prop for her country between 1993 and 1997.

Emma Garbutt said: “Now that Naomi is involved with Yorkshire, she’s hoping to earn herself a place in the North of England squad and then try and go all the way to the top of the game.

“She’s been playing well this season and really enjoying her rugby, especially with Yorkshire.

“I was selected for one of the first ever county teams for women, and as far as I’m aware, nobody else from that era has had a daughter who has played for Yorkshire, so I’m pretty sure we are the first mother and daughter both to have represented the White Rose.

“Obviously, I’m delighted, as is Naomi, and I’m really proud of the achievement.”

Naomi, who can play as either a second row forward, or at number eight, is currently involved in the junior set-up at Malton and Norton RUFC, having previosuly played for Old Brodleians and in Whitby’s minis section.

She made her Yorkshire debut in a 39-14 victory against Lancashire earlier this month, and featured for the county again in a victory over Cheshire on Sunday.

Her talent for rugby comes as no surprise to her family, given her mother’s talent, while her dad Paul also played county rugby for Durham while living in Hartlepool, and later turned out for Whitby RUFC.

“Paul and I have both played at a decent level oursevles and we try and pass on some advice and help Naomi along the way,” Emma added.

“The game has changed an awful lot since I was playing, however.

“I didn’t take the sport up until I went to university at Warwick, before going on to play for Wasps and Leeds, whereas Naomi’s been involved from a much younger age.

“She’s been around rugby since she was a baby, and I’m sure that this will be of a real benefit to her as she looks to progress in the game.”