EX-WALES rugby captain Rachel Taylor has received an honorary degree from Bangor University.

Ms Taylor, who is now performance coach for Sale Sharks Rugby Club, won 67 caps for Wales, playing in three World Cups and captaining both Wales and the women’s Barbarians team.

Born in Bangor and raised in Llandudno, she was immersed in the sport having a father who was a rugby coach and an older brother who played for a local team.

She played rugby from the age of five and, although she took part in a variety of sports growing, she always returned to rugby.

Having joined Colwyn Bay RFC as an eight-year-old, Rachel progressed to become the first female coach of a national league Welsh rugby team when she returned to the division two side in 2018.

She broke more ground in 2020 when she took on the role of National Skills Coach, becoming Women Rugby Union’s first professional national female coach in the process.

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A valued ambassador for Wales and women's rugby, Rachel is the only player to have captained both 7's and 15's Welsh international sides and played for every region.

Ms Taylor also co-founded a Rugby Academy, Rygbi 7/11, that delivers quality coaching experiences focused on enhancing the current pathway for female athletes into elite environments.

She has coached North Wales regional boys’ teams and the line-out for Rygbi Gogledd Cymru – North Wales Rugby.

Presenting Rachel with the honour, Professor Nicky Callow, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Human Sciences said: “As a player, captain, coach and member of Women’s Rugby Union, Rachel has championed Wales and women in rugby throughout her career and her sporting achievements are outstanding.”

Upon receiving her Honorary Degree, Rachel Taylor said: "It's been a real privilege to come here for an honorary degree, more so to experience and be part of the celebration with everybody else receiving their degrees today.

“It has been a really difficult past couple of years, and to be part of this sort of giant celebration means an awful lot to me and my family."

Rachel joined three years of Medical Sciences and Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences students who were finally able to officially graduate from the university following the pandemic.

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