Debut: Vs Warrington Wolves (H) 04/07/21
Leeds Rhinos Women bolstered their squad midway through the 2021 season by signing Saracens and England rugby union international Eloise Hayward.
Debuting days after she was announced as a Rhino, she scored against Warrington Wolves, taking an offload from Sophie Robinson to sneak in at the corner. In the Rhinos’ clash with Wigan a round later, she was back on the scoreboard, supporting a break from Fran Goldthorp to sprint 60 metres and score under the posts.
Portsmouth-born, Hayward first started playing rugby union on sand pitches in Muscat, Oman. Her dad was head coach of the Navy team and her mum, who is a nurse, worked weekends so her dad sent Eloise to the Under-5s team and she loved it. She went on to play rugby union for a multitude of clubs around the world including Muscat Pirates, Jakarta Komodo Dragons, Sharjah Wanderers and Dubai Hurricanes before returning to the UK to play for West Park Leeds, Gloucester, Worcester Valkyries and Saracens, where she came off the bench to helped the club lift the Premier 15s Cup in 2019 for the thirteenth time.
She has also represented her country, particularly in the 7s. Her greatest achievement is receiving her first England shirt when I was 16 and her most memorable rugby moment was scoring my first try for England. As a scrum half in union, she looks up to France international Antoine Dupont and South Africa international Faf de Klerk.
Hayward comes from a sporting background, with her dad, mum and grandad all being involved in sports. Steve, her dad, played for Hull FC and Michael, her great uncle, played for the Rhinos while her grandad Tony Hayward was a footballer for Leeds United and Manchester City. Her mum, Tracie, also played Netball for Hampshire and represented Wales. She is also Eloise’s most female inspiration as she is so hardworking in being a nurse, especially on the front line of the Covid pandemic. Hayward also said her mum is always her biggest fan, her physio, nutritionist, sports psychologist, manager and the best mum.
Away from rugby, Hayward is studying Biomedical Science at Loughborough University and her hobbies include surfing, football (she is a fan of Chelsea), walking her dog and crossfit. An interesting fact about her is that she can speak languages and she said girls should start playing rugby because it really boosts your confidence as you are surrounding by friendly girls who become your best mates. You feel physically fit and strong which will improve self image and you make the best memories being able to travel and play.