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Rugby News

Future Leicester Resident: Amy Cokayne

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Leicester Tigers can confirm the signing of Amy Cokayne ahead of the 2023/24 season.

The 26-year-old joins Tigers from Harlequins, having also previously represented Wasps in the Premier 15s and may be familiar to those who came through the Lichfield pathway, playing there for three years, from 2014 to 2017. 

Born in England, Cokayne moved to New Zealand when she was just nine years old, as her father had got a job in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, a path the hooker has trodden in her own career, holding the position of Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force. 

Whilst over in New Zealand, she took up rugby for the first time, beginning in the centres and making her way slowly forward before ending up in the front-row, where she captained Fielding High School (a talent factory that has also produced New Zealand 7s captain Sarah Goss, as well as All Blacks Aaron Smith and Sam Whitelock) to a record 53 games unbeaten.

When asked to describe her game in a few word, Cokayne replied “I like to think I’m a 10 trapped in a hookers body! Joking aside, I know how key set piece is to my role but I also like getting involved in the pretty stuff in the loose” 

She moved back to England in December 2013, and was called up to an England Under 20 training camp just three months later. Cokayne made her debut for the senior side in 2015, against Italy and hasn’t looked back, accruing 72 caps, whilst she scored the first of her 20 international tries against Canada in 2015.

Talking about moving to Tigers, Cokayne added that this move “Gave me the chance to move back home to the midlands and get involved with a club with such a rich history of success, one with a real desire to push the women’s game forward”

The hooker has frequently demonstrated she is unfazed by the bright lights. With a fearlessness to match her obvious talent, Cokayne regularly produces when it matters on the biggest stages, including two tries in the 2020/2021 Premier 15s Final and a hat-trick in 2022 World Cup final. 

Her three years in the Premier 15s have demonstrated her ability to cross the whitewash, scoring 12 in back-to-back seasons (2020/21 and 2021/22), whilst this current ongoing campaign has seen the hooker bag seven tries thus far and be named the Supporter’s Player of the Season.

Speaking about the signing of Cokayne, Leicester Tigers Head of Women’s Rugby Vicky Macqueen said: “We are thrilled to welcome Amy to the club. Her international record is absolutely exemplary and her dedication to the game is second to none. Her expertise at the set-piece and her soft skills around the park will make her an invaluable asset to Leicester Tigers”.

Finally, when asked about meeting up with the wider squad, the front-row added “I trained against Tigers whilst preparing with the RAF squad; it was a great session and it was lovely to see a few familiar faces from my Lichfield days!”