JUST years after being told she’d never play rugby again, a former Tynedale Panther pulled on the green jersey of Ireland for the first time.

Juliet Short, an ex-pupil of Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High School, earned her first cap for Ireland Women’s first team as she represented the country against England at Twickenham.

Selected for the November test matches, number eight Short had been told she would never play again after a serious spine injury threatened to ruin her career.

But after years of hard work and determination, she was called up to make her international bow fresh from winning the Interprovincials with Leinster, where she scored four tries.

Growing up in Tynedale, rugby was a huge part of her life. Her Irish father John played for Northumberland and her brother Christian played for Northampton before moving over to Ireland. The 29-year-old started out at Tynedale Panthers as a youngster before moving on to Newcastle Falcons, where she came to the attention of Irish selectors after a call-up to the Exiles, a team of Irish players in the UK.

With experience playing for the Ireland Sevens and England U20, Short made the final cut for Ireland’s World Cup team in 2014, but she didn’t get a run out.

Determined not to halt her involvement with the sport, she sought her coaching experience and took a job in Brazil on a programme run by Try Rugby SESI , Premiership Rugby and the British Council. After her serious injury, playing sevens in Brazil helped her recovery but was informed she needed to return home to stand a realistic chance of making the Ireland team.

Now in her second year back, she’s continuing her coaching with a role as community rugby officer at Leinster.

And despite a 37-15 loss to England, her father John hopes the appearance is the first of many for Juliet.

He added: “Hopefully this is the start of a regular place in the team, especially with the Six Nations next year and the World Cup in 2021.”