Hospital physiotherapist Alicia Taylor is preparing for some bruising encounters after being appointed to work with the national Jamaican rugby league team.
The Reggae Warriors will make their debut at the 2022 Rugby League World Cup and Alicia will be part of the team providing back room and touchline support to the 19 strong men’s squad.
Alicia, who works as rotational physiotherapist at Ealing Hospital, recently attended her first World Cup Camp where a weekend of training is followed by a friendly game against one of their future competitors.
Jamaica held Scotland to a draw in a bruising encounter but the physical nature of the rugby keeps Alicia and her colleagues busy.
“These are big guys and common injuries can include concussion, sprains, dislocated shoulders and various repetitive injuries. It’s a pretty unforgiving sport but I’ve grown up with the game and love being involved in it both as a spectator and physio.”
Alicia, 23, first became with rugby clubs as a sports therapy student at university when she worked with the Bradford Bulls.
“It was initially a bit intimidating but everyone was very respectful as I was the only woman. I’ve since worked with several clubs teams including the Widnes Vikings. London Scholars and my current team London Broncos.”
The Broncos play 24 matches a season with Alicia working two evenings a week plus travelling with the team for weekend matches against the likes of the Halifax Panthers and Batley Bulldogs.
Her work is a combination of injury prevention and recovery nursing the inevitable knocks and sprains these sometimes 16-stone giants pick up.
Broncos coach Jermaine Colemen was so impressed with her commitment he asked her to join him after being appointed the Jamaican national coach.
Alicia added: “It’s been a fantastic experience and the team camaraderie makes you feel like one big family.
“TV chef and best-selling author Levi Roots gave a great pre-match pep talk before the Scotland game about Jamaica being a small island with a big heart. It can be hard work but I love being involved in it and am really looking forward to the World Cup in England.”
Does she play rugby?
“No, but some of the team have heard I play golf and want a game.”
Not so much a case of swing low sweet chariot as swing high sweet four-iron.