A NORTH-EAST rugby captain was among a trio of sportswomen to receive their honours at Buckingham Palace on Thursday (May 1).

Katy McLean MBE, of Darlington Mowden Sharks rugby club has 69 caps for the England rugby team.

The 28-year-old fly half was presented with an MBE for services to the sport, along with footballer Rachel Yankey OBE and former netball player Karen Atkinson MBE.

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The trio received their awards from Princess Anne.

Miss McLean, who is originally from South Shields, said she hoped her honour would improve participation in women’s rugby.

She said: “The team sports maybe don’t get as much recognition as athletics and it’s really growing that and making sure that young girls know that rugby, football and cricket are really out there on the market to go and participate in.

“If my award gets somebody else involved in the sport, then that is amazing for me.”

Miss McLean received said the Queen’s daughter wondered how members of the England women’s rugby team combine their sporting careers with their day jobs.

She added: “I’m a primary school teacher and obviously a lot of our girls work and she was asking how we manage that.

“She wished us good luck in the World Cup as well.”